Secondary Syphilis Rash
The first symptom of syphilis is a painless lump known as a chancre, which is present at the site of infection. However, as these lesions do not cause any pain, they often go unnoticed, allowing the bacteria to progress beyond the primary syphilis infection. During the secondary stage it is common to develop a syphilis skin rash, which usually appears along with a range of other symptoms. The diversity of symptoms at this stage means it is easy to mistake syphilis for another illness, but a simple blood test can accurately diagnose this STD, so with signs pointing to a possible case of syphilis, you should not put off getting tested. The good news is that testing positive for syphilis during the secondary stage allows you to be cured before the infection progresses further to cause lasting damage.
Syphilis Rash on Feet
The skin changes that occur during secondary syphilis have a characteristic appearance and normally take form within weeks of the chancre healing. You will typically see red or brown spots on your skin, which most commonly affect your soles and palms. A rash caused by syphilis on hands and feet it is usually easy to notice, though blemishes may develop on other areas of your body and take on an alternative appearance. For instance, these rashes may be very faint or resemble those caused by another infection. Some people also develop white or gray patches of skin that become raised, which are usually found in warmer areas such as the armpit, groin and mouth.
Secondary Syphilis Symptoms
Besides syphilis skin symptoms during the secondary stage of infection you are likely to develop a whole host of changes in your body. This may include a raised temperature, fatigue, swollen glands, weight loss, sore muscles and throat, and headaches. With these symptoms you could have another STD, as HIV, hepatitis B and herpes share similar signs during their early stages. However, various other medical conditions, ranging from mononucleosis to Lyme’s disease, could explain the diversity of your symptoms. This is why it is so important to get the right diagnosis, so with syphilis rash symptoms and related signs of infection you should book an STD test to at least rule this out.
How Is Syphilis Tested
If you suspect you have syphilis a routine blood test can reveal whether you are infected. The blood test for syphilis works by looking for antibodies specific to the bacteria that cause this STI. It is usually possible to detect these syphilis antibodies just a few weeks after exposure to the infection, so if you are displaying secondary syphilis symptoms there should be no issue with testing too early. However, as with all STD tests, there is a small risk that false negatives can occur, so if you are surprised by a negative syphilis test result, you should arrange a repeat blood test to put your mind at rest.
Owing to the similarity of the secondary symptoms of syphilis infection and other STDs, you should consider taking a comprehensive STD test instead of simply going ahead with syphilis testing alone. This will allow you to rule out herpes, HIV and hepatitis, as well as chlamydia and gonorrhea which typically have no symptoms. The fact that having one STI increases your risk of others makes testing for the complete range of sexually transmitted infections a wise decision.
Is Syphilis Treatable
When you are concerned you may have a sexually transmitted disease like syphilis, one of your main concerns is whether it is curable. Thankfully, syphilis is one of the STDs that can be completely cured with antibiotics. However, it is important you don’t delay an STD test, as if you have syphilis and it progresses to the tertiary stage, you are likely to develop problems affecting your heart and nervous system, which cannot be revered by antibiotics for syphilis. You should also make sure that when you receive your syphilis treatment, you take the medication according to the pack instructions, as failure to use the correct dosage or complete the course of antibiotics may mean that some of the bacteria remain and are able to take hold again. It is additionally important that your partner gets tested for syphilis to prevent re-infection, as it is possible to contract syphilis multiple times.