|Description:||This photograph depicts a patient’s face revealing pathologic cutaneous changes in the region around the nose and mouth, consisting of noduloulcerative lesions, known as syphilids, due to a syphilitic infection.|
The secondary stage of syphilis is characterized by the manifestation of a skin rash and mucous membrane lesions. This stage typically starts with the development of a rash on one or more areas of the body. The rash usually does not cause itching.
Rashes associated with secondary syphilis can appear as the chancre is healing or several weeks after the chancre has healed. The characteristic rash of secondary syphilis may appear as rough, red, or reddish brown spots both on the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet. However, rashes with a different appearance may occur on other parts of the body, sometimes resembling rashes caused by other diseases. Sometimes rashes associated with secondary syphilis are so faint that they are not noticed. In addition to rashes, symptoms of secondary syphilis may include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and fatigue. The signs and symptoms of secondary syphilis will resolve with or without treatment, but without treatment, the infection will progress to the latent and possibly late stages of disease.