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Platzhalter Syphilis

Syphilis is also called Syph, or "lues" (the Latin word for "plague") or "hard chancre". It's caused by a bacterium named Treponema pallidum.

Syphilis is a really insidious venereal disease and can have devastating effects. Fortunately it responds well to special antibiotics and can be cured - assuming it's recognized early enough. And that's not always easy. Because syphilis goes through three distinct phases.

In the beginning, in phase 1, the symptom is a painless, hard sore. Often you don't notice it and it disappears again even if it's not treated.

A few weeks later, phase 2 usually produces a rash. This can look like measles. Or it can cause bigger, red-brown blotches and oozing patches on the skin. The skin sores, the oozing secretion and the blood now contain a particularly large number of syphilis bacteria. This is the stage at which it's especially easy to catch syphilis even from close bodily contact.

Phase 3 can last many years and produces no more external signs of the disease. The infected person is no longer contagious. But the effects in the body are very serious, including possible blindness and mental disability.

So whenever you find a sore on your body or a skin rash you really must go to the doctor. Or if you notice a rash or weeping patches of skin on a woman you've had sex with. Tell the doctor you want to be tested for syphilis.

You can protect yourself well against syphilis, but unfortunately not completely, by using condoms. But most importantly, you should avoid contact with wounds, blood and wound secretion. It's important, too, to watch your own body carefully. Then, you'll notice any suspicious-looking changes and can go to the doctor in good time. 

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  Diseases > Syphilis

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