Syphilis is divided into stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary), with different signs and symptoms associated with each stage. A person with primary syphilis generally has a sore or sores at the original site of infection. These sores usually occur on or around the genitals, around the anus or in the rectum, or in or around the mouth. These sores are usually (but not always) firm, round, and painless. Symptoms of secondary syphilis include skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. The signs and symptoms of primary and secondary syphilis can be mild, and they might not be noticed. During the latent stage, there are no signs or symptoms. Tertiary syphilis is associated with severe medical problems. It can affect the heart, brain, and other organs of the body. A doctor can usually diagnose tertiary syphilis with the help of multiple tests.
Articles in this section
- What is syphilis?
- How is syphilis transmitted?
- What does syphilis look like?
- How can I reduce my risk of getting syphilis?
- Am I at risk for syphilis?
- I’m pregnant. How does syphilis affect my baby?
- What are the signs and symptoms of syphilis?
- How will I or my doctor know if I have syphilis?
- Can syphilis be cured?
- I’ve been treated. Can I get syphilis again?