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All you need to know about Chancroid

June 25th, 2013

All you need to know about Chancroid

Chancroid (Haemophilus Ducreyi) or When the Penis Sore Hurts…

Haemophilus_ducreyi_01Talking about STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), one should know the signs and symptoms of different pathogens. Some STDs do hurt, and some STDs don’t.  Chancroid, also known as Soft Chancre or Ulcus Molle, is one of the painful STDs. It is transmitted by the coccobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi, which is transmitted during sexual encounters. H. ducreyi is the major cause of genital ulcer disease in Africa and Southeast Asia and is of increasing concern in the United States. Despite very few cases of newly diagnosed in the Western World (Europe, USA, etc.) the knowledge about this STD might be crucial to prevent more serious diseases; chancroid has been proven to increase the risk of contracting HIV as chancroid infection will facilitate and aid the transmission of HIV.

How Is Chancroid Transmitted? How Does the Infection Look Like?

The transmission of this STD happens from person to person during immediate sexual contact. Small abrasions on the skin surface will allow the bacteria to enter to recipients body.  Starting as local skin redness, pustules follow after 4-7 days, and central necrosis (wound scab like inversions) appear.

Chancroid Signs And Symptoms

A chancroid lesion on penis

A chancroid lesion on penis

Chancroid is usually a local infection without systemic involvement.
The ulcers of chancroid usually range from 3 to 50 mm (1/8 to 2 inches). Some characteristics are very typical for chancroid:

  • They are painful
  • Have sharp margins with ragged or irregular boarders
  • Have a gray to yellowish-gray colored base and bleeds easily if scratched
  • Is accompanied by painful swelling of the regional lymph nodes (30-60% of all cases)
  • May cause painful/burning urination and vaginal pain during intercourse
  • “Buboes” are swollen lymph nodes which have ruptured through the skin and drain abscesses

How Is It Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Chancroid happens in the laboratory where the organisms are identified.

How Do You Treat it?

Chancroid, Buboes in a male

Buboes in a male

The CDC recommendation for chancroid is a single oral dose (1 gram) of Azithromycin, or a single intramuscular dose of Ceftriaxone, or oral Erythromycin for seven days.
Abscesses are drained.
Treatment failure is possible with HIV co-infection and extended therapy is sometimes required.

What Are the Complications of Chancroid?

Large pus draining abscesses, super-infection with other bacteria/viruses/parasites, and phimosis are possible complications of chancroid.

How Do I Prevent From Getting Chancroid?

Avoid risky sexual behavior and use condoms!

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