A syphilis test may be ordered when a person has signs and symptoms, such as:
A chancre on the genitals or throat
A skin rash that often is rough, red, and spotted, appearing frequently on the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet (an unusual place for most other causes of rashes) and that usually does not itch, with or without other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes ("glands"), sore throat, and body aches
Primary and secondary syphilis are easy to treat with a penicillin injection. Penicillin is one of the most widely used antibiotics and is usually effective in treating syphilis. People who are allergic to penicillin will likely be treated with a different oral antibiotic, such as doxycycline, azithromycin, or ceftriaxone.
If you have neurosyphilis, you'll get daily doses of penicillin intravenously. This will often require a brief hospital stay. Unfortunately, the damage caused by late syphilis can't be reversed. The bacteria can be killed, but treatment will most likely focus on easing pain and discomfort.
During your treatment, make sure to avoid sexual contact until all sores on your body are healed and your doctor tells you it's safe to resume sex. If you're sexually active, your partner should be treated as well. You shouldn't resume sexual activity until both of your treatments are complete.
The best way to prevent syphilis is to practice safe sex. Using condoms during any type of sexual contact is a good idea. In addition, it may be helpful to: avoid having sex with multiple partners use a dental dam (a square piece of latex) or condoms during oral sex avoid sharing sex toys get screened for sexually transmitted infections and talk to your partners about their results Syphilis can also be transmitted through shared needles. Avoid sharing needles if you're going to use drugs.
Penicillin is the antibiotic most commonly used to treat syphilis. Penicillin is usually given as a shot (injection). If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctor may prescribe another antibiotic in early stages of syphilis, such as doxycycline, tetracycline, ceftriaxone, or azithromycin.