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A Journal on Dermatology

Journal of Istituto Dermatologico San Gallicano
Official Journal of the Associazione Dermatologi Ospedalieri Italiani - A.D.O.I.
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Esperienze Dermatologiche 2012 June;14(2):65-8

language: English, Italian

Mucous patches (mucosal erosions) on the glans as onset sign of syphilis. An unusual case of syphilis

Errichetti E., Piccirillo A., Ricciuti Fe., Ricciuti Fr.

Dipartimento di Dermatologia e Malattie Sessualmente Trasmesse, Ospedale San Carlo, Potenza, Italia


Classically, syphilis begins with the development of a chancre at the site of initial treponemal penetration. However, rarely the chancre may be absent and the first and only signs of the disease can be represented by the lesions of the secondary stage (secondary syphilis). This clinical presentation is known as “decapitated syphilis” or “syphilis d’emblée”. Secondary syphilis manifestations are quite variable in their expression and for this reason decapitated syphilis may present in many different clinical forms, some frequent and recognizable and some more unusual. Here we report an uncommon case of decapitated syphilis presenting with mucous patches (mucosal erosions) on the glans accompanied by local lymphadenopathy as unique onset sign of the disease. Furthermore, we will analyze the causes and the clinical aspects of decapitated syphilis..

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