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  • Primary Syphilis:
    • Lesions form around genital area;
    • Lesion are raised, and form firm red border;
    • Lesions develop a dark pink color;
    • Develop swollen glands;
    • Although lesions generally heal, without treatment the disease will progress.
  • Secondary Syphilis:
    • Once the primary lesions have healed, new symptoms will appear;
    • Secondary lesions normally form on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet;
    • Secondary lesions can also form in other areas;
    • Other symptoms include a sore throat, low-grade fever, headache and a rash;
    • The rash does not itch and is usually not uncomfortable;
    • Without treatment the disease will continue to progress.
  • Latent Syphilis:
    • About 25% of clients may experience a re-occurrence of some of the secondary symptoms;
    • In most cases, the latent stage is asymptomatic;
  • Latent syphilis may stay with clients for life or late syphilis may appear.
  • Late Syphilis:
    • Late syphilis may emerge in any area of the body as late as 30 to 50 years;
    • Late syphilis may take the form of late benign syphilis, cardiovascular syphilis or neurosyphilitic disease


  • Primary Stage: 1-3 months;
  • Secondary Stage: 3-6 months;
  • Latent Stage: 6 months – 2 years.

Without treatment, syphilis can cause irreversible damage to the brain, nerves, and body tissues.


Syphilis is a disease caused by the bacteria Treponema pallidum. The bacteria penetrate chafed skin or the mucous membranes. Men are more vulnerable to contracting syphilis than women.


Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of penicillin (an antibiotic) will cure a person who has been infected with syphilis for less than a year. Additional doses are needed to treat someone who has been infected with syphilis for longer than a year. For people who are allergic to penicillin, other antibiotics are available to treat syphilis. There are no home remedies or over-the-counter drugs that will cure syphilis. Treatment will kill the syphilis bacterium and prevent further damage, but it will not repair the other physical damage caused.