Thursday, 22 October 2015

Syphilis sores leaves man scarred for life

These graphic images of syphilis show the gruesome reality of what unprotected sex can lead to.

The pictures, released by Chinese medics reporting in The Lancet medical journal show the serious effects some strains of syphilis can have on the human body.

A 38-year-old man presented with a 1 month history of multiple painful skin ulcers on his face, trunk, and extremities. The eruptions had started as papular and nodular lesions and progressed to pustules and painful ulcers within 2 weeks.

He had been diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum (a rare skin condition that causes painful ulcers)at his local hospital and treated with methylprednisolone. After 1 week, the lesions had worsened and he had developed fever.

He reported having had sex with four women during the past year and denied ever having sex with men.

A diagnosis of malignant syphilis was made and he was started on 2·4 mg intramuscular benzathine penicillin injections, once a week for 3 weeks.

6 months later the ulcers had healed completely, but the ugly scars remained.

Like this man, many Nigerians have no knowledge they have been infected with Syphilis.

Syphilis is one of the "silent killers" ravaging the Nigerian population-- it's not as infamous as HIV but can do even worse damage. It is caused by the organism Treponema pallidum..

A person becomes infected, typically during sexual contact, transmission from mother to child and close contact with a sore.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages it presents (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary).

The four stages of syphilis begin with a highly infectious sore on the genitals, or sometimes around the mouth.
If somebody else comes into close contact with the sore, they can also become infected. The sore lasts two to six weeks before disappearing.

This may then develop into a skin rash and sore throat which can disappear within a few weeks. A hidden phase with no symptoms can last for years but after this, syphilis can progress to its third and most dangerous stage - years after the original infection.

About a third of untreated cases develop into the late stages where the disease can damage your brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones and joints.

The only good news about Syphilis is, it can be treated with antibiotics if detected early --preferrably intramuscular benzathine penicillin.

And just one dose is sufficient. So get tested today!

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