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Can Syphilis Spread Through A Syphilitic Rash?

  • syphilis
  • std
  • sti
  • syphilitic rash
  • rash
  • contagious


"Can syphilis be contracted through cuddling with syphilis rash present?"

- Anonymous


Thank you for your question. Syphilis can be spread by coming into contact with a syphilitic rash, but the odds of transmission are not high.

These rashes do contain bacteria that can spread the disease. However, in order for it to spread from one person to another, the bacteria would need to make its way into an open sore on another person or enter into a mucus membrane. While these scenarios are not impossible, they are unlikely.

Syphilis is typically spread through oral sex, anal sex and vaginal sex. It is nearly impossible to catch it through casual contact (like shaking hands). Also, despite what you may have heard from an urban legend, you cannot catch it from a toilet seat either.

If you have come into contact with another person's syphilitic rash and you are worried that you may be infected, you should get yourself tested for syphilis. This is especially true if you are experiencing any symptoms.

If the infected person you speak of is your partner, you should discuss treatment options with him or her. The treatment for syphilis is quick and painless. Once they are treated, this will no longer be a problem for either one of you. 

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