[Question #2031] Syphilis

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83 months ago
Hello,
I had protected vaginal sex with a chinese sex worker 18 days ago. 2 weeks later, something like an ingrown hair appeared, I tried to squeeze it and shave the area. It got worst, lot of bleed came out. So I stopped, I am cleaning the area with alcohol and applying neosporin. This injury is located on the right hand side of my scrotum, on the top, near the penis base. It's getting better, now it's already 4 days since i had the injury and I think with 3 more days should be 100%. the injury looks like a zit, it's not hard and doesn't looks like a chancre for me, My Biggest concern it's about getting syphilis, I used condom during all the relation and no oral sex was envolved. How risky was this situation??
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
83 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment.  The exposure that you describe was relatively low risk.   Most commercial sex workers do not have STIs any even when they do, most exposures do not lead to infection.  I should start by congratulating you on your use of a condom- that goes a very long way towards reducing any possible risk for STI.    At the same time, if your partner had syphilis and your lesion is on a part of the penis not covered by your condom, your challenge will be to determine whether or not this lesion is due to your manipulation (squeezing, shaving the area) or an infection.  Statistically this is more likely to be due to an infection caused by your manipulation of the lesion but to be sure it may be helpful to test.  Among STIs, the only infection that fits your description is syphilis and if this lesion were due to syphilis, a blood test for syphilis would be positive at this time (syphilis blood tests become positive a few days after the lesion appears.)

I hope that this comment is helpful to you.  Take care.  EWH
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83 months ago
Dr Edward,
Thank you for your answer, 5 days after the lesion was noticed, the area is healed.
How long does the Syphilis chancre last? What do you think about this case?
It's always good to read your answers with so much useful information.
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Edward W. Hook M.D.
83 months ago
Most typically it would take 10 days to two weeks for a syphilis chancre to heal.  As I have already told you, it is quite unlikely that the lesion you had was syphilis but if you have any doubts, I would suggest a blood test for syphilis.  If it is negative you can be confident that the lesion you noted was not syphilis.  EWH
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