Generally, blisters are pocket fluids between the upper layers of the skin caused by syphilis. There are other causes too like freezing, friction, chemical burns, and other infections. A person with blisters has the area of the skin filled with plasma, blood, pus, or serum, depending on the circumstances of its formation. This article would discuss blisters and how it relates to syphilis which is a sexually transmitted infection.
Causes of syphilis blisters
Syphilis blisters are occasioned by the infection of syphilis and as a result, the infected person experiences blisters around the infected parts of the body. These blisters arise as a result of unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sexual contact with an infected person and are experienced at the primary stage of the infection.
Be that as it may, some other medical conditions could cause blisters and it is important to know these and be able to identify the difference with the one occasioned by the STD. They include:
- Bullous impetigo, which is mostly seen in young children, formed in the legs or arms of the infected child
- Chickenpox, as a result of the rash formed on the body
- Herpes, which produces cold sores as a result of the Herpes Simplex Virus
- Pemphigus which is a rare group of autoimmune disease affecting the mucous and skin membranes
- Bullous pemphigoid
- Cutaneous radiation syndrome
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Epidermolysis bullosa which is a genetic disease of the connective tissue causing blistering on the mucous membranes and skin.
Blisters on parts of the body are also occasioned by other non-medical factors which one has to be aware of. It, therefore, follows that when a person realizes blisters on the skin, it may not necessarily be caused by syphilis. Those other factors are not restricted to the following but include:
- Friction caused by repetitive actions like playing a particular musical instrument, walking or running
- Exposure to chemicals like solvents, detergents, cosmetics, nickel sulfate, insect stings or bites, etc.
- Extreme temperature
- Pinching and crushing which allows small vessels of blood near the skin surface to rupture, thereby, forming a blister filled with blood.
How to diagnose syphilis when a blister is discovered
One is advised to see a doctor as soon as possible when a blister is discovered. This would necessitate a blood sample test and a physical body examination to ascertain the health status of the person.
Also, handy home test kits can identify if there is syphilis in the body.
Who should go for a syphilis test after discovering a blister?
Since so many may pass through the first stage of syphilis without experiencing symptoms, the blisters noticed should be one of the reasons to go for a test if one falls within these class of persons. They include:
- A sex worker
- A pregnant woman
- A person who has had unprotected sex with many partners
- A person with a sexual partner who has another sexual partner
- Men who have sexual intercourse with other men
- A person who has had unprotected sex with a person infected with syphilis.
Prevention of syphilis blisters
Syphilis blisters can be prevented by adopting the various ways of preventing one’s self from other symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. Few of them are:
- Avoidance of sharing sex toys with both infected and uninfected people
- Usage of dental dam or condoms especially during oral sex
- Getting regularly tested alongside one’s sexual partner(s) that helps them to know their status and stay safe.
- Avoidance of sharing needles and other sharp objects.
Treatment/methods of curing syphilis blisters
Medically, a penicillin injection would suffice for the eradication of syphilis blisters. Penicillin, which is one of the most used antibiotics is effective for this purpose but since the body metabolism of people differs, some would be allergic and may use other antibiotics like azithromycin, ceftriaxone, and doxycycline.
In addition to the above, there are several other practical ways to deal with the appearance of syphilis blisters which includes:
- Giving it air to help speed up the healing process because it helps a lot.
- Usage of topical cream to offer the infected area some cooling benefits after it has been sanitized. This prevents it from spreading.
- Draining the blister by gently piercing the edge with a sterilized needle.
- The cushion of the blister with the use of a clean bandage or gauze pad to prevent future blisters.
- Softening the affected area before popping it which is done in a saline solution to properly have it clean and prevented from contracting other infections.
- Moisturizing the affected area with an inflammatory gel, like Aloe Vera, which could help moisturize and speed the healing process of the blister.
Coming to a conclusion when a blister is discovered on the body that there is a syphilis infection is a wrong move to make as we have seen above that many other factors apart from syphilis may occasion a blister.
So, give your doctor a ring; or utilize the home test kit to be absolutely certain the blister is not syphilis-related.