Symptoms of syphilis differ by stage:

  • Primary stage – Syphilis first appears as a painless chancre. This sore goes away without treatment in 3–6 weeks.
  • Secondary stage – The next stage begins as the chancre is healing or several weeks after the chancre has disappeared, when a rash may appear. The rash usually appears on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. Flat warts may be seen on the vulva. During this stage, there may be flu-like symptoms. This stage is highly contagious.
  • Latent and late stages – The rash and other symptoms go away in a few weeks or months, but the disease still is present in the body. If untreated, the disease may return in its most serious form years later.
People may experience:
Groin: painless ulcers, sores, vaginal discharge, or wart-like growths on genitals
Skin: rashes, small bump, or ulcers
Also common: fatigue, itching, mouth ulcer, rash on the palms and soles, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, or rectal lining inflammation