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Primary syphilis

The incubation period for syphilis is usually about 3 weeks.
The typical chancre appears as a 1 cm eroded, pink, flat topped papule, surrounded by a narrow red border. There may be some crusting. Lesions are usually solitary.
The chancre persists for three to eight weeks and then heals leaving a slight scar.
The chancre contains spirochetes that are visible on dark field examination.
There may be an associated adenopathy.
Reactive serology is detectable by six weeks.
Primary syphilis is contagious.

Treatment:

  • The primary chancre(s) fade(s) without treatment, but treatment is still necessary.
  • See: Syphilis for treatment details.
primary syphilis


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