Is the rash on your hands due to syphilis? Here’s what you need to know

Syphilis has different signs depending on the stage

hand rash (Academic Life in Emergency Medicine)

At first, you might even visit your dermatologist thinking it’s just another skin condition. Unless you are tested for syphilis, the dermatologist will be trying to treat you for a skin condition whereas you have an underlying problem resulting in the rashes on your hands like what happened in this case.

Syphilis is one of those sexually transmitted diseases that can go for months without showing symptoms. But that does not mean that you can’t pass it to your partner – hence the reason you should get checked regularly especially if you have more than one partner or you suspect that your partner could be sleeping around.

Syphilis Stages

Usually, syphilis symptoms present in different ways depending on the stage you are in. The symptoms might vary and can be difficult to tell if what you are experiencing is syphilis. The four main stages of syphilis are:

Primary syphilis – This stage is between 10 days to three months after being infected. At this stage, you might develop a sore that later disappears on its own although the infection is still there.

Secondary syphilis – other signs such as weight loss, swollen glands, sores on your private parts, and skin rash start to show. The rash might be on various parts of your body such as your soles, hands, and palms.

Latent syphilis – if you are not treated during the secondary stage, it progresses to latent syphilis. This is the hidden phase and symptoms do not show. You can stay at this stage for years but you still have the infection.

Tertiary syphilis – This is the most severe and dangerous stage. It can lead to severe organ damage and eventually, death.

How to know if the rash on your hands is due to syphilis

Although there are other reasons as to why you might have rashes on your hands, you should be keen to watch out for any other signs you are experiencing. According to the Centre for Disease and Control (CDC), the rash can start on one or more parts of the body. It can seem rough, reddish with spots on the bottom of your feet or the palms of your hands. The rash doesn’t itch and it might be to faint to even notice it.

Syphilis rash may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as; fever, fatigue, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph nodes, etc.

The only best way to know if for sure you have syphilis or rule it out is to go for a test especially if you have the symptoms of the disease.


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