Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), once responsible for devastating epidemics. It is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum.
The syphilis bacterium is very fragile, and the infection is almost always transmitted by sexual contact with an infected person. The bacterium spreads from the initial ulcer (sore) of an infected person to the skin or mucous membranes (linings) of the genital area, mouth, or anus of an uninfected sexual partner. It also can pass through broken skin on other parts of the body.
In addition, a pregnant woman with syphilis can pass T. pallidum to her unborn child, who may be born with serious mental and physical problems as a result of this infection.
Infection-through abrasions in the skin/ mucus membrane and in adults usually sexually acquired.
- Blood transfusion
- Transplacental infection
Homeopathic treatment of Syphilis
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat syphilis but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat syphilis that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of syphilis:
Mercurius – The mercurial preparations are the first to be employed in treating syphilis, and no homoeopathic grounds, for the pathogenesis of these preparations corresponds to the syphilitic infection in the majority of cases.
Mercurius corresponds to the majority of symptoms of secondary syphilis, to the syphilitic fever, to soft chancres and to buboes. The sore throat and the nocturnal syphilitic pains which banish sleep as soon as the patient goes to bed are well met by the remedy. The chancres and ulceration have dirty, lardaceous bases and foetid discharges. It suits especially the phagedenic sores, which bleed easily. Jahr recommended not lower than the second centesimal trituration in this affection.
Mercurius proto-iodide corresponds to the Hunterian or hard chancre, which is painless, with no tendency to suppuration. It also suits well the secondary eruption. Helmuth prefers this preparation to any in the early stages.
Mercurius bin-iodide is useful in chancre and bubo when they are particularly indolent. It also is useful in syphilides.
Merc Cor – Is the most active of the preparations of mercury, and corresponds to active and destructive cases, as in syphilitic ulcerations, which are very destructive, serpiginous ulcers with ragged edges, phagedenic ulceration and acute buboes.
Arsenic Album – This remedy has been used in syphilis from early homoeopathic times. Teste, in his Materia Medica, published in 1854, writes of an arsenical preparation then in vogue called Feltz’s Anti-Syphilitic Decoction, which enjoyed a very extensive popularity, and was stated to cure the disease as by magic, where it had proved rebellious to mercury. This anti-syphilitic arsenical craze of sixty years ago is repeated in the Salvarsans of to-day, of which much has been hoped but which are now conceded to be practically useless in the disease unless mercury be given at the same time. Teste says Arsenicum is a very useful remedy in constitutional syphilis, and Berjeau gives precise indications therefor. It is indispensable in the phagedenic variety of ulcerations with the intense burning pains and in desperate cases of syphilitic infection with general constitutional symptoms of the drug which frequently correspond so closely to those of some cases of the disease.
Hepar Sulph – this remedy is indispensible when mercury has been abused. This remedy is indispensable when mercury has been abused; indeed, it more of an antidote to mercury than to syphilis itself. It may be indicated in this disease, as may any remedy, by special symptoms, and those of Hepar are chancres with diffuse borders and red base with sticking pains in them,secreting a watery pus, also in the swollen glands and their suppurative tendency. There are nightly pains, chilliness and the sores are sensitive. It has also falling of the hair.
Aurum Mur – syphilitic gonorrhoea; chancres on prepuce and scrotum; bubo in left groin; secondary syphilis; snuffles in children suffering from hereditary syphilis.
Aurum Met – secondary syphilis; also infantile, especially after abuse of mercury; iritis, marked by much pain around eye, as if in the bones; caries of nasal bones.
Carbo Veg – syphilitic ulcers with high edges which become irritable from local treatment; margins of sores sharp, ragged, undermined; discharge thin, acrid, offensive; ulcers much painful and easily bleed.
Badiaga – syphilis of infants, whole convolutes of hard, glandular swellings; bubo, left groin, hard, unequal, like scirrhus, violent burning stitches during night.
Carbo Animalis – constitutional or tertiary syphilis; coppery red blotches on skin, particularly on face, induration of glands; nasal syphilis.
Kreosote – tertiary syphilis; severe bone pains, aggravation at night; painfulness of scalp leading to alopecia. Central incisors in syphilitic children unevenly set, with irregular cutting edges, notched and pointed.
This remedy is of no use in the primary or secondary stage of syphilis; all of its manifestations belong to the tertiary stage. It has gnawing bone pains, throbbing and burning in the nasal and frontal bones. Papules which ulcerate, leaving scars, rupia; the ulcers are deep eating. It also meets the nervous lesions of tertiary syphilis. It is a valuable remedy with which to antidote the abuse of mercury.
Kali bichromicum has ulcerations, with tendency to perforate deep down into the tissues, and is useful in syphilitic affections of the mouth and fauces.
Kali-iodatum suits the infantile coryza in syphilitic children and the scaly syphilides. Scrofulous subjects where the tendency to ulceration is marked require the remedy.
This suits especially mercurial-syphilitic cases and secondary syphilis, phagedenic chancres with exuberant granulations, bleeding easily; also ulceration and mucous patches. The ulcers have raised and ragged edges and splinter like pains in them; the buboes, threaten to suppurate. There is soreness of the skin and cranial bones,worse from damp weather. There are ulcers in the throat irregular in outline, with sticking pains in them and yellowish brown or copper colored spots over the body.
Other important medicines for syphilis
Nitric Acid, kali Iod, Phytolacca, Silicea, Kali Sulph, Sulphuric Acid, Kali Iod, Thuja, Aurum Ars, Apis Mel, Antim Tart, Calcaria Iod, Calcaria Sulph, Causticum, fluoric Acid, Colchicum, Phosphorous, Asafoetida, Conium, Lachesis, Platinum Met, Graphites, Belladonna, Kalmia, Sulphur and many other medicines.
SYMPTOMS OF SYPHILIS
The initial infection causes an ulcer at the site of infection. The bacteria, however, move throughout the body, damaging many organs over time. Medical experts describe the course of the disease by dividing it into four stages-primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary (late). An infected person who has not been treated may infect others during the first two stages, which usually last 1 to 2 years. In its late stages, untreated syphilis, although not contagious, can cause serious heart abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, other neurologic problems, and death.
The first symptom of primary syphilis is an ulcer called a chancre (“shan-ker”). The chancre can appear within 10 days to 3 months after exposure, but it generally appears within 2 to 6 weeks. Because the chancre may be painless and may occur inside the body, the infected person might not notice it. It usually is found on the part of the body exposed to the infected partner’s ulcer, such as the penis, vulva, or vagina. A chancre also can develop on the cervix, tongue, lips, or other parts of the body. The chancre disappears within a few weeks whether or not a person is treated. If not treated during the primary stage, about one-third of people will go on to the chronic stages.
A skin rash, with brown sores about the size of a penny, often marks this chronic stage of syphilis. The rash appears anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks after the chancre appears. While the rash may cover the whole body or appear only in a few areas, it is almost always on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Because active bacteria are present in the sores, any physical contact-sexual or nonsexual-with the broken skin of an infected person may spread the infection at this stage. The rash usually heals within several weeks or months.
Other symptoms also may occur, such as mild fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, patchy hair loss, and swollen lymph glands throughout the body. These symptoms may be very mild and, like the chancre of primary syphilis, will disappear without treatment. The signs of secondary syphilis may come and go over the next 1 to 2 years of the disease.
If untreated, syphilis may lapse into a latent stage during which the disease is no longer contagious and no symptoms are present. Many people who are not treated will suffer from no further signs and symptoms of the disease.
Approximately one-third of people who have had secondary syphilis go on to develop the complications of late, or tertiary, syphilis, in which the bacteria damage the heart, eyes, brain, nervous system, bones, joints, or almost any other part of the body. This stage can last for years, or even for decades. Late syphilis can result in mental illness, blindness, other neurologic problems, heart disease, and death.
-rare, where antenatal serological screening practised.
-antisyphilitic treatment in pregnancy treats the fetus.
-variety of outcomes after 4 months of gestation.
(a) miscarriage/stillbirth, premature/ at term
(b) Birth of syphilitic baby (sick, hepatosplenomegaly, bullous rash, pneumonia?)
(c) birth of baby who develops signs of early congenital syphilis during 1st few weeks of life.
(d) Birth of a baby with latent infection- either remain well or develops ceongenital syphilis stigmata later in life.
In adult cases
- Serum collected from chancres> presence of T. pallidum
- Rapid plasma regain
- Specific antibody tests>enzyme immune assay IgGIgM (EIA)
- TP haemgglutination assay (TPHA)
- TP partical agglutination assay (TPPA)
- Chest X-ray, ECG, CSF examination.
In suspected cases
- EIA, IgM suggests early
- Investigation of mother, her partner or any sibling.