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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is acid reflux a symptom of primary syphilis?

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Dr. Sumit Bhatti

ENT Specialist

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2569 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 3 Nov 2015 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: For the last month or so I have been getting sores on my tongue that are not canker sores. I have been worried that it might be primary syphilis from kissing a prostitute a month ago but I have had multiple of the same type of sore. During this time I have been suffering from acid reflux. Could this have something to do with it? I am attaching a picture of the sore
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Looks like an apthous ulcer.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. The points against a chanchre (syphilis sore) are:
a. No incubation period. You have a history of these sore occurring since a month (since the exposure).
b. Multiple crops of sores as compared to single lesions in syphilis.
c. Pain, which you have not clarified. Chancre sores are painless and hence less noted.
d. Acid reflux is a common cause for such sores.
e. Canker sores heal faster than syphilis sores.

2. Get The tests for syphilis done to eliminate all doubt.

3. Early syphilis is easily treated and cured. Anti reflux treatment, local gels and multivitamins will help.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Follow up: Dr. Sumit Bhatti 10 minutes later
There have been multiple crops of single sores. They are not very painful unless touched or pressed. 7 days after the first sore, I was tested negative for syphilis. Since then I have had three ( including this one) sores over three weeks all lasting about a week. Do alphous ulcers always sting and burn? Can I rule out syphilis?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
This is unlikely to be syphilis.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for your query.

1. Multiple crops are usually seen with minor apthous ulcers.

2. Apthous ulcers are less painful initially and when they are healing. They do tend to be extremely painful when fully developed.This pain usually starts when touched or while starting drinking water or eating and then quickly settles down.

3. Since you have tested negative for syphilis and with your current history you can rule out syphilis. A hanging drop microscopy examination of a fluid sample from the sore can be done if it persists.

4. A simple course of antibiotics can be taken along with medication for the sores.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any more questions I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Sumit Bhatti 4 hours later
The sores have been singular at a time. I tested 2 weeks after kissing but one week after initial sore. I was advised test would of been positive at that time. Since then I have had three similar sore...can I rule out syphilis?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
Yes, you can rule out syphilis at present.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thank you for writing back.

1. Yes, you can rule out syphilis at present.

2. It would be advisable to get a follow up (direct) examination and test done next month.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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