Syphilis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Syphilis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment – The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenkes) provides the latest information regarding syphilis. Over the last 5 years, there has been an increase from 12,000 cases to more than 20,000 cases.

What’s even sadder is that most of the people suffering from syphilis are pregnant women who contracted it from their husbands. As many as 25% of pregnant women with syphilis in Indonesia are undergoing treatment. The remaining 75% of pregnant women who are infected still have not received treatment because they are embarrassed.

There are still many people who don’t care about syphilis. To find out more, see the following article.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacteria

Syphilis or lion king is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that originates from infection with the  Treponema pallidum bacteria.  Generally, transmission starts from sexual intercourse by homosexuals or heterosexuals (can occur through oral and anal transmission), direct contact with other syphilis sufferers (using the same eating utensils, wearing the same clothes), or pregnant women who infect the fetus in the womb. .

If syphilis is not treated medically, it will further worsen the health conditions of the external and internal parts of the body. A sign of syphilis infecting the body is the presence of itchy red spots around the penis, vagina, anus, rectum, and inside the lips and mouth.

Syphilis transmission takes an average of 21 days, with a range of 10 to 90 days. The longer it takes to be treated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body with gradual severity.

Causes of Syphilis

Syphilis bacteria infect the body through small wounds, abrasions, rashes, and mucous membranes (mouth, genitals).

The risk of syphilis transmission is caused by the following actions and lifestyles:

Having sexual relations by changing partners, be it with the opposite sex or the same sex.

  • Having sexual relations without using a condom.
  • Close contact with syphilis sufferers.
  • Positively infected with the HIV virus.

Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis symptoms are divided into 4 levels with different signs and pain: (1) Primary, (2) secondary, (3) tertiary, (4) neurosyphilis.

Syphilis Example

Symptoms at this stage include sores such as rashes or ulcers that are painless. Apart from that, there are other symptoms such as the following:

  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Fever.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Hair loss.
  • There is a change in vision.

Wounds such as boils or warts can disappear and heal by themselves in 3-6 weeks, if syphilis sufferers receive health care. However, if syphilis does not receive treatment, secondary level symptoms will appear.

Secondary Syphilis

In secondary syphilis, rashes or boils with a texture like coarse grains will spread more and more on the skin without any pain. Not only in the genital area, but can grow around the armpits and groin. Other effects include fever, joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes. The worsening symptoms of syphilis cause the sufferer to lose weight, have excessive hair loss, and have a sore throat.

Symptoms of secondary syphilis can still be cured if treated. However, if these signs get worse, it is very possible that they could be symptoms of tertiary syphilis.

Tertiary Syphilis

Tertiary syphilis is the development of untreated secondary syphilis infection. Thus, the symptoms of tertiary syphilis become more severe and affect the internal parts of the body as follows:

  1. Heart valve damage; aneurysm.
  2. Central nervous system disorders.
  3. The presence of tumors in the bones, liver and joints.

Syphilis also puts patients at risk of developing complications, such as neurosyphilis, ocular syphilis and otosyphilis.

Neurosyphilis, Ocular Syphilis, and Autosyphilis

Neurosyphilis, ocular syphilis, and otosyphilis are complications of syphilis that has been infected for a long time due to the absence of further healing measures.

  • Neurosyphilis  attacks the central nervous system which affects motor coordination and thinking ability. Symptoms of syphilis include headaches, weak muscles and joints, confusion, dementia, and even paralysis.
  • Ocular syphilis  is directly related to decreased vision due to syphilis, with symptoms such as floating spots in the eyes ( floaters ), blurred vision, and even blindness.
  • Otosyphilis  is a complication of syphilis that attacks hearing ability. Signs that syphilis sufferers experience this complication are loss of balance, ringing in the ears, dizziness, vertigo.

Can Syphilis Be Cured?

Of course, syphilis can be cured if the initial symptoms are treated immediately. One drug that can treat syphilis bacteria is antibiotics, namely penicillin which is injected into the patient’s body.

Penicillin is given to syphilis patients with early to severe symptoms who are already experiencing complications. The only difference is in the dose given according to the level of symptoms. This also applies to pregnant women who have syphilis, penicillin is still given.

If the patient has a penicillin allergy, of course treatment can use reduced penicillin.

The side effects of penicillin itself are fever, headache, chills, nausea and body aches for more than a day.

During treatment and healing, syphilis patients are not recommended to have sexual relations until the wound is completely healed. Don’t forget, syphilis patients are also expected to be able to carry out an HIV test, because syphilis transmission also has a high potential for HIV.

Immediately consult a doctor if there are signs of syphilis

Syphilis or lion king disease is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that needs to be avoided because it has a huge impact on external and internal health of the body. The way to prevent syphilis is by not having sexual relations with a partner who has syphilis, or carrying out sexual activity using a condom.

If you find symptoms of syphilis, immediately consult a dermatologist and genital doctor (Sp.KK) at the nearest Mitra Keluarga.

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