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Condition

Syphilis in Teens

The first symptom of syphilis is a painless open sore that usually shows up on the penis, in the vagina or mouth, or on the skin around the rectum or genitals. Untreated syphilis may go on to more advanced stages. These include a rash. Over time it can cause problems with the heart and central nervous system.

Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics. If a pregnant woman has untreated syphilis, the disease can cause dangerous, even fatal, problems for the baby. The way congenital syphilis affects the baby depends on how long the woman has had the disease and if or when she was treated for the infection. This form of syphilis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or death of the baby shortly after birth. Untreated babies that do survive will likely develop serious multiple organ problems of the brain, heart, eyes and ears.

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Frequently Asked Questions

About Syphilis

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Transmission

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Treatment

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Infectious Diseases Treatment at Children's National Hospital

Our Division of Infectious Diseases is the major referral center for infectious diseases in the Washington, D.C., area, helping thousands of young patients each year with contagious conditions. Discover more about the treatments we offer.

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PATIENT STORY

Molly's Story

    Departments that Treat Syphilis

    Dr. Jim Park fist bumps young patient

    Children's National Heart Center

    Our expert pediatric heart team, including more than 40 subspecialties, offer advanced heart care and excellent outcomes for thousands of children every year.