Syphilis is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. The disease starts as a painless sore — typically on your genitals, rectum or mouth. Syphilis spreads from person to person via skin or mucous membrane contact with these sores. It is treatable in the early stages, with a short course of antibiotics, but without treatment, it can lead to disability, neurological disorders, and even death. 


APPOTEK can help you with syphilis.


The cause of syphilis is a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. The most common route of transmission is through contact with an infected person’s sore during sexual activity, but the infection can also be spread by blood transfusion and pregnant women can transmit the disease to the fetus. The bacteria enter your body through minor cuts or abrasions in your skin or mucous membranes.


Syphilis is divided into two stages, primary and secondary syphilis. If it is primary syphilis, you can get small ulcers – about one to two inches in size – in the genital area. The ulcers appear a few weeks after you become infected. The location of the ulcers depends on the place where you were infected. You can get them in the mouth, on the penis or in and around the vagina and around the anus. The lymph nodes around the infected area may also become swollen.


If syphilis is not treated, the infection enters the bloodstream. You can then have fever, feel tired, have headache and rash. The rash can be found in various places on the body. Sometimes it can itch. Some get brownish marks on the palms and soles of the feet.


In some the infection remains in the body – then it is called secondary syphilis. Secondary syphilis can remain in the body for a long time, up to twenty years before it causes discomfort. You will then get symptoms from the heart and nervous system.


The symptoms of syphilis are not always obvious and may eventually disappear, but you’ll usually remain infected unless you get treated.


Some people with syphilis have no symptoms.

Prevention and Protection

To help prevent the spread of syphilis, follow these suggestions:


  • Use a latex condom. Condoms can reduce your risk of contracting syphilis, but only if the condom covers the syphilis sores.
  • Avoid recreational drugs.
  • If you have syphilis, you should tell your doctor, who you think has infected you and if you may have passed the infection on.
  • Contacted persons should do a syphilis test.

Treatment of syphilis

There are no home remedies or over-the-counter drugs that will cure syphilis, but syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of long acting Benzathine penicillin G will cure a person who has primary, secondary or early latent syphilis.

When to consult a doctor

Consult a doctor if you have ulcers in your mouth or genital area.

How APPOTEK can help

APPOTEK can help you with syphilis. A doctor will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms in the online consultation, then may prescribe treatment or refer you for further examination. Be aware that sampling may be required for a correct diagnosis of syphilis.


Valeria Chernikova, Neurologist, M.D.