The first symptom of
syphilis is a sore called a chancre (say "shanker")
that is usually painless. The sore begins at the site of infection as a small,
solid, raised skin sore less than
1 cm (0.4 in.) across. It
develops into a red, usually painless open sore with a scooped-out appearance.
The sore usually does not bleed.
Two or more chancres may develop at the same time, usually in the
genital area, but sometimes on the hands, mouth, or other body surfaces.
If you or your sex partner has unprotected sex with anyone else, you are at risk for a sexually transmitted disease, or STD. Ask your doctor to test you for STDs during your annual physical even if you have no symptoms. If you test positive, your sexual partners will need treatment. It may be embarrassing, but you must tell them they have been exposed. It can be a matter of life and death.
STDs may be detected during a physical exam; through Pap smears; and in tests of blood, urine, and genital...