Symptoms and first signs of syphilis in men
Syphilis is one of the most dangerous diseases transmitted mainly through sexual contact. Refusal of treatment or ignoring the characteristic manifestations of the disease leads to the defeat of all vital organs, the development of incurable chronic pathologies, disruption of the functioning of the nervous system, brain and, finally, the death of the patient.
Syphilis in men is characterized by pronounced symptoms, which directly depend on the stage of development of Lewis and are determined by his gender.
Sources of infection
The development of the disease is provoked by the bacterium Treponema pale. This microorganism is very dangerous, although it is practically unable to live outside the human body. An exception is a humid environment, where anaerobes retain their vital activity for several hours. Such “survivability” makes it possible to become infected by the household route, which is rare, but occurs. Treponema transmission at home is possible through the use of shared towels, bedding, cutlery, washcloths, razors, toothbrushes with an infected person.
Infection with treponema is possible in public places with high humidity: swimming pools, baths, saunas, showers in gyms, latrines. Therefore, when visiting them, special care should be taken, and public toilets should be visited as rarely as possible.
Observance of simple safety measures allows you to avoid infection: before sitting on shelves or chairs in rooms with a humid environment, you should lay a personal towel, wear rubber slippers, visit only those places where sanitization is regularly carried out.
More than 90% of syphilis infections occur during intimacy with an infected partner. Although intentional transmission of the virus to a healthy person is punishable by law, many men and women are unaware of their condition, and therefore pose a particular danger to others. And even after the first symptoms begin to appear, most patients refuse to believe that they have become a victim of a serious pathology, writing off its manifestations as signs of “lighter” infectious diseases or allergies.
Another way of transmission of infection – medical – anaerobe infection occurs through the blood. This situation arises if an emergency blood transfusion is required, but there is no access to a donor, tested and past the incubation period of biological fluid, and the donor does not know about his illness. The penetration of bacteria is possible during instrumental medical procedures in dubious clinics where sterility conditions are not observed.
Even a manicure or pedicure can “reward” a person with a serious pathology. Therefore, all employees of such institutions must work in sterile gloves, use disposable instruments or sterilize them directly in front of the client.
As soon as the bacterium enters the body, it begins to multiply actively. Until the moment when its colony reaches a certain size, signs of the disease will not appear, as the anaerobe goes through an incubation period. How long does this stage last? It is different for every man and depends on the strength of his immune system. On average, the first symptoms of syphilis in men, indicating the end of incubation, occur after 3-4 weeks, but may appear after 10-15 days, and after one and a half to two months.
Barrier contraceptives help to avoid infection or unconscious transmission of infection to a sexual partner.
According to medical statistics, Lewis is most often detected in young people from 17 to 25 years old who are sexually active and neglect safety measures. Another provoking factor for the older generation: a decrease in immunity due to age-related changes in the body, the development of inflammatory pathologies of the genitourinary system (prostatitis, adenoma, STIs).
Factors such as:
- the number of bacteria that have entered the body: if there is direct contact with the patient’s blood or the contents of the chancre, the first signs may appear very quickly;
- weakened immunity: a man has severe chronic pathologies, long-term treatment with potent drugs, autoimmune diseases, etc.;
- antibiotic treatment: taking specific drugs to fight another infection can delay the start of the next stage or lead to a change in the clinical picture of the course of the disease;
- associated infection: treponemas rarely live alone, they are usually accompanied by other representatives of pathogenic microflora (chlamydia, fungi, herpes virus, gonococci, etc.).
Stages of development of syphilis: primary stage
Even if the external manifestations of the pathology leave no doubt about its name, clinical tests are mandatory. This will help not only confirm the preliminary diagnosis, but also establish the Lewis stage , determine the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics.
How long does primary syphilis appear in men?
In one and a half to two months, as soon as the incubation period ends. Its first signs may look like small sores or erosive formations located at the site of primary contact with the bacterium.
The size of such an ulcer is small – a few millimeters in diameter, its edges are even, the shape is rounded, in the middle there is a seal, which gave the name to the formation – a hard chancre. Such a manifestation of syphilis in men is the very first sign of the primary stage, it persists for about two weeks, and then disappears on its own, without any treatment.
In addition to the genital organs (penis, testicles, scrotum), chancres can also occur on other parts of the body. Often ulcers are found on the arms, palms, sides of the body, lower abdomen, back. This arrangement is evidence of non-intimate infection, that is, the virus penetrated directly into the guy’s blood.
Another common place for the formation of a seal is the oral cavity. The defeat of the mucous membranes of the mouth occurs when infected by household means or during oral caress of a sex partner. Such chancres appear a little earlier, since the microflora of the oral cavity is an excellent environment for the active reproduction of all pathogenic microorganisms.
The guys feel good, and if the chancre is formed in a place inaccessible to external examination (in the larynx, on the tonsils, back, anal mucosa), patients simply do not notice it, which is why they do not go to the doctor, allowing the disease to progress further. Only a small percentage of patients have symptoms of malaise: fatigue, fatigue, fever, a slight increase in temperature. But as soon as the chancres disappear, the next Lewis stage begins to develop , which manifests itself more clearly:
- lymph nodes increase at the site of contact with a pathogenic microorganism: in the inguinal region, on the neck, underarms;
- the psycho-emotional state changes: a feeling of irritability is sharply replaced by apathy, anxiety – by aggression, etc.;
- appetite worsens;
- there is an ache in the articular joints, muscle pain;
- body temperature is kept in the region of 37.2 – 37.5 degrees.
The vast majority of patients experience swelling of the intimate organs, which creates discomfort when moving.
If it was not possible to diagnose Lewis at this stage and therapy is not carried out, he goes to the next, secondary stage. It is considered chronic, as it proceeds with a change in periods of exacerbations and remissions.
What does syphilis look like in men in the secondary stage? Its manifestations are very diverse. By this time, the causative agent of the disease has already left the lymph nodes (it is in them that active reproduction of treponemas occurs) and penetrates into the bloodstream, which carries the bacteria to all internal organs. The brain and the back, that is, the central nervous system, are the first to be hit. The main manifestations of the secondary stage include:
- panic attacks and anxiety;
- sudden mood swings;
- the appearance of shortness of breath;
- cardiac arrhythmias.
The main symptom of this stage are rashes on the skin – syphilis. They have a different shape, color, structure, while appearing and disappearing on their own. At first, they look like common urticaria, which makes it possible to confuse them with an allergic reaction. If a guy begins to self-medicate and take antihistamines, after a few days the rash disappears, and the patient decides that the treatment has helped.
A characteristic difference between a syphilitic rash is the absence of itching, which is inherent in all dermatological pathologies. Another specific symptom is the absence of discharge from the genital organs with syphilis in men, which is characteristic of all genital infections.
The main types of syphilides
- Roseola – light pink spots with a diameter of 1.5 – 2 cm, the contours are blurry, fuzzy. Their surface slightly protrudes above the skin, after the disappearance there is a pigment spot.
- Papules are nodular formations with purulent contents, the shape is round, the surface is smooth, elastic, the size is different – from the size of a lentil to a pea. After a few days, they begin to peel off, after healing they leave scars.
- Wide condylomas – have a small leg, are covered with a whitish coating, contain serous discharge. They are usually located in the anus.
- Palmar-plantar syphilis – papules, very similar to corns (after formation, they begin to crack and peel off), the localization site is the soles of the feet and palms.
The manifestations of the secondary stage also include syphilitic tonsillitis. With it, bright red roseolas are formed in the oral cavity, sometimes with a copper tint, their surface is smooth, the contours are clear, and can cause discomfort when swallowing. Another characteristic symptom is syphilitic alopecia, that is, focal or diffuse hair loss.
At the same time, the affected area does not lose all the hairs, which gives the man’s hair the appearance of moth-eaten fur. In addition to the head, areas of the body with abundant hair can also suffer: chest, back, lower limbs, armpits, inguinal region.
A feature of all syphilis is the absence of discomfort: they do not itch, do not itch, do not peel off. Their edges are clear, no tendency to merge is observed, only at the end of the secondary stage, when the size of the rash increases, they can merge due to a large area.
With each exacerbation, the color of syphilides becomes increasingly pale, while contagiousness (infectiousness) increases: the contents of papules and pustules include a huge number of representatives of pathogenic microflora.
Thanks to modern pharmaceuticals and advanced medicine, the tertiary form of the disease is very rare today. It occurs several years after infection in patients who refuse to undergo drug treatment. How does tertiary syphilis manifest itself in men?
Rashes at this stage are called pustules – they are located under the skin, do not protrude to the surface, have a large infiltrate. On palpation, pain is observed, and the epidermis above the pustules has a burgundy or cyanotic hue. When secretions from syphilis enter the mucous membranes, infection occurs in 95% of cases. After healing, deep scars remain.
There are few such syphilides, since at the tertiary stage internal organs are already affected: the heart, liver, kidneys, back and brain, respiratory organs, reproductive system. Such pustules also form on them, which leads to the death of their tissues, dysfunction and, as a result, disability and death of the patient.
Lewis danger for guys
If you find any warning signs, you should immediately consult a doctor. Do not wait for the disease to go away by itself, as it appeared. Self-medication is also dangerous, since taking the wrong medications will lead to a violation of the clinical picture of the disease, and this will slow down the diagnosis and delay the start of therapy.
Although syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection and requires the use of antibiotics, it is strictly forbidden to buy them on the recommendations of friends. Therapy is selected only by a specialist, he also determines the dosage and duration of the course.
Refusal of professional assistance leads to the appearance of severe pathologies: infertility, necrosis of the genital organ with further amputation, development of sepsis of internal organs.
Of the more “light” complications, one can single out a syphilitic lesion of the penis, which delivers very painful sensations.