Description, Causes and Risk Factors:
The primary lesion of syphilis, which begins at the site of cutaneous or mucosal infection after an interval of 10-30 days as a papule or area of infiltration, of dull red color, hard, and insensitive; the center usually becomes eroded or breaks down into an ulcer that heals slowly after 4-6 weeks.
This infectious lesion forms approximately 21 days after the initial exposure to Treponema pallidum (a bacterial species that causes syphilis in humans; this organism can be experimentally transmitted to anthropoid apes and to rabbits; it is the type species of the genus Treponema), the gram-negative spirochaete bacterium yielding syphilis.
Two or more chancres may develop at the same time, usually in the genital area, but sometimes on the hands, mouth, or other body surfaces. Chancres contain millions of syphilis bacteria and are highly contagious.
Chancres transmit the sexually transmissible disease of syphilis through direct physical contact. These ulcers usually form on or around the mouth, hands, legs, and anorectal region. Chancres may diminish between three to six weeks without the application of medication.
Prevalence varies considerably by age group, sexual activity, and region of the country.
Use a sheath during coitus.
If you think you are infected, avoid any sexual contact and visit your local STD Clinic, a hospital or your doctor. Notify all sexual contacts immediately so they can obtain examination and treatment.
Limit the number of your sex partners.
The chancre usually occurs approximately three weeks after infection; it is a single, red papule that gradually begins to erode, forming a painless, clean ulcer with a smooth, raised border.The size of the eroded area ranges from a few millimeters to several centimeters; usually chancres that occur at extragenital sites (most often on the lips and tongue) are larger than genital chancres.
There are three ways to diagnose chancre:
Examining blood samples.
Identifying syphilis bacteria under a microscope.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms.
The doctor usually uses all these approaches to diagnose syphilis and decide upon the stage of infection.Blood tests also provide evidence of infection, although they may give false-negative results (not show signs of an infection despite its presence) for up to 3 months after infection. False-positive tests (showing signs of an infection when it is not present) also can occur. Therefore, two blood tests are usually used. Interpretation of blood tests for chancre can be difficult, and repeated tests are sometimes necessary to confirm the diagnosis.PCR-based identification of organisms is available. Simple, rapid, sensitive and inexpensive antigen detection methods for identification are also popular.
Chancre may be successfully treated with certain antibiotics. Lesions and ulcers can be expected to heal within two weeks. Untreated chancre often results in ulcers sometimes the ulcers persist for weeks or months.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.
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