Secondary Syphilis (Lues): It looks like Pityriasis Rosea…but it’s not…

It is important not to miss secondary syphilis, because it is easy to diagnose, easy to treat, and once it goes undiagnosed the next phase is tertiary syphilis which is often very debilitating and develops many years after the secondary phase.

The key to the diagnosis is to check the hands and the feet.  Patients with Lues often have lesions involving these regions, but this is not observed in patients with Pityriasis Rosea.

If I suspect secondary syphilis I order an RPR, which is a simple blood test that will detect the infection.  Syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics.  For more information on syphilis and its various stages, click HERE WARNING–Graphic images.  To read more about Pityriasis Rosea click HERE and HERE.  Lues is known as the great masquerader…it mimics many skin diseases…to read more click HERE.