Syphilis is not as common as it once was, but the disease is still out there. It is transmitted through sexual interaction, which means if you're sexually active, it is wise for you to know the basics about syphilis. Take a look at the key symptoms and how the disease is treated, below.
Symptoms of Syphilis
The early symptoms of syphilis are easy to overlook. However, the disease is easiest to treat in its early stages. And treating it early on will prevent a lot of the more serious, long-term consequences of the disease. So, you want to keep an eye out for these early symptoms and seek treatment, without delay, if you think you might have them.
Key early symptoms include:
- A sore at the site of infection, which is usually on your genitals or mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes, which may or may not also be sore
- A red skin rash, which may be a little itchy or may not itch at all
Syphilis is a sneaky disease. If you have the symptoms above and ignore them, they will eventually go away. But that does not mean the disease is gone; it absolutely is not. The symptoms will come back one day, and they'll be even more serious without treatment. They can include permanent heart and brain damage.
Treatment for Syphilis
As serious a disease as syphilis is, treatment is surprisingly simple. Your doctor can diagnose the condition with a simple blood test. If you do, indeed, have syphilis, then your doctor will give you a dose of strong antibiotics. Usually, this is given in the form of an injection. Your symptoms should begin clearing up within a day or so. Your doctor may also prescribe some additional treatments to keep you comfortable. For instance, they may give you a soothing cream if your rash is itchy.
If you are diagnosed with syphilis, you will need to reach out to your previous sexual partners and let them know you may have exposed them. Your doctor can sometimes do this for you if you provide them with a list of your partners and their contact information. Also, going forward, remember to always have safe sex with condoms. It's a great way to protect against STDs, including syphilis.
Syphilis is treatable, but you do need to have it treated early on for good results. Now that you know more about this disease, you should be better equipped to keep yourself safe.
Contact a medical professional to learn more about syphilis and other STD treatments.