• Molly Hartrich
  • Taku Taira


Syphilis is known as “the great imitator” of disease which makes diagnosis challenging. This designation stands for the skin manifestations of T. pallidum as well. The rashes and skin lesions of syphilis are numerous and varied, particularly when individuals are coinfected with HIV. The classic painless chancre of primary syphilis and the palmar-plantar rash of secondary syphilis are important physical exam criteria to know but are only two of the numerous cutaneous manifestations of the disease. This chapter seeks to familiarize clinicians with some other skin findings that are less well known and may be confused with other disease mimics. In addition, the diagnostic and treatment pathways are described which also depend on disease stage.


Syphilis Primary syphilis Secondary syphilis Neurosyphilis Tertiary syphilis Spirochete HIV AIDS Chancre Rash Gumma Lues maligna Penicillin Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Molly Hartrich
    • 1
  • Taku Taira
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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