Have you noticed some sudden changes on your skin lately? If so, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist or with your primary care physician to make sure your skin condition isn’t an early warning sign for syphilis. Anyone can get syphilis especially if you’re sexually active and have unprotected sex with multiple partners.
Nearly 20 years ago, the CDC says syphilis was on the verge of extinction but after a recent 2019 report revealed that “30.65 of all cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and P&S syphilis were among non-Hispanic Blacks, even though they made up only approximately 12.5% of the U.S. population.” The findings from the study showed syphilis is making a ferrous comeback and the cases were highest among black people who were also 4.7 times more likely to contract the infection than Whites.
What is syphilis?
Syphilis is a contagious sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum which you can get by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. If left untreated, syphilis can progress into a series of stages which can impact nearly every organ within your body.
Is it curable?
Although contracting an STI can be devastating, embarrassing, and overwhelming the good news is syphilis can be properly cured with antibiotic medication after receiving a blood test from the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.
Having swollen lymph nodes or a simple skin rash or other problems with your skin can be an early warning sign for syphilis. Syphilis can create sores or lesions known as chancres which can be found around the anus, in the vagina or rectum, and on the external genitals or inside the mouth.
You may even notice as the disease spreads you could develop a fever, a sore throat, hair loss, weight loss, hearing loss, and problems with your reflexes. These signs and symptoms can appear for a few days or last up to several months or years if left untreated.
Syphilis can also be detrimental to a mother and her unborn child’s health. The mother can infect her baby through the bloodstream which could possibly lead to stillbirth death or other pregnancy complications. Doctors say that some people may even miss the early warning signs because they may not experience any pain or symptoms but without proper treatment, you can still spread the sexual infection to others.
If you are diagnosed with syphilis don’t avoid or delay getting treatment. Doing so, can lead to blindness, dementia, neurological problems, meningitis or present stroke-like symptoms.