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Symptoms of Syphilis Infection

Syphilis infection progresses through various stages, each with specific symptoms.

  • 05 Mar 2024
  • 2 min read

STD syphilis symptoms can show up in different stages, each with its specific signs. It's important to note that some people may not experience any symptoms, so regular screenings are crucial for those involved in high-risk behaviours. Let's explore the symptoms associated with the stages of syphilis:


What are the Symptoms of Syphilis Infection?


  1. Primary Stage:


During this stage, painless and firm sores called chancres develop at the site of infection in the genital, anal or oral areas. These sores can go unnoticed and are highly contagious. The primary stage occurs within 2 to 12 weeks after exposure. While the sore may disappear on its own without treatment, the infection progresses to the next stage and can be transmitted through sexual contact.


  1. Secondary Stage:


Symptoms usually appear within one to six months after the initial sore disappears, and they can include:


  • Skin Rash: A rash that doesn't itch may develop on parts of the body, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
  • Mucous Membrane lesions: Sores can occur in areas like the mouth, throat or genitals.
  • Flu-like symptoms: Fever, tiredness, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle pains may also be experienced.


It's important to note that the disease, syphilis symptoms may come and go over time; thus, continuous medical attention and treatment are necessary.


  1. Latent stage:


If left untreated, syphilis enters a stage where no obvious signs are apparent. Occasionally, there may be flare-ups and silent damage to organs such as the heart, bones, nerves, and others. Although transmission risk decreases during this stage, it's crucial to note that it can last up to 20 years. Without intervention or treatment during this period of time, syphilis progresses into a stage with severe health risks.


  1. Tertiary stage( late syphilis):


  • Organ damage: Organ damage becomes severe with complications affecting organs such as the heart, brain/nervous system function, eyesight/vision impairment and blood vessels.
  • Gummatous Lesions: Soft, non-cancerous growths known as gummas may develop on tissues throughout the body.
  • Neurosyphilis: When syphilis affects the nervous system, it can cause problems with coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness and sensory issues.


Congenital Syphilis


In newborn babies, signs like a rash, fever, anaemia, jaundice and developmental challenges may be observed.




It's important to seek urgent medical attention if any symptoms of syphilis are noticed.  Having healthcare supported by health insurance policy becomes crucial in ensuring timely interventions. This emphasises the importance of coverage in managing and preventing syphilis complications.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your general physician or another certified medical professional for any questions regarding a medical condition. Relying on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk, and ICICI Lombard is not responsible for any effects or consequences resulting from the use of the information shared. 



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