chancroid

What is a chancroid?

Chancroid is a bacterial infection that causes open sores on or around the genitals of men and women. It is a type of sexually transmitted disease (STD), meaning it is transmitted through sexual contact. It is rarely seen in the United States. It is most common in developing countries.

Haemophilus ducreyi bacteria cause this infection. It attacks the tissues in the genital area and produces an open sore sometimes called a chancroid or ulcer.

The ulcer may ooze or produce an infectious fluid that can spread bacteria during oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse. Chancroid can also be spread from skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Who is at risk for chancroid?

If you are sexually active, you may be at risk for chancroid. If you travel to or live in a country that lacks certain resources, you may be more at risk than people who live in areas with abundant resources. These resources include:

  • health care
  • food
  • shelter
  • That

If you have a heterosexual man or a minority, you have an increased risk of chancroid. Other risk factors for chancroid include:

  • poverty
  • sex with commercial sex workers
  • drug and alcohol use disorder
  • anything related to high-risk sexual practices
  • multiple partners

What are the symptoms of chancroid?

Symptoms can vary in men and women, but typically begin four to seven days after exposure.

men

Men may feel a small, red bump on their genitals that may develop into an open sore in a day or two. An ulcer can occur in any area of ​​the genitals, including the penis and scrotum. Ulcers are often painful.

Women

Women may develop four or more red bumps on the labia, between the labia and anus, or on the thigh. The labia are folds of skin that cover the female genitals. After the bumps are ulcerated or opened, women may experience a burning or painful sensation during urination or bowel movements.

Additional symptoms in men and women

The following symptoms may occur in both men and women:

  • Ulcers can vary in size and are usually 1/8 to 2 inches across.
  • Ulcers have a soft center that is gray to yellowish-gray with defined or sharp edges.
  • Ulcers bleed easily when touched.
  • Pain may occur during sexual intercourse or while urinating.
  • Inguinal swelling may occur where the lower abdomen and thigh meet.
  • Swollen lymph nodes can separate from the skin and lead to large abscesses or collections of pus that drain.

Diagnosis of chancroid

Diagnosing the condition may involve taking samples of fluid flowing from the wound. These samples are sent to a lab for analysis. Diagnosis of chancroid is currently not possible with a blood test. Your doctor may also examine the lymph nodes in your groin for swelling and pain.

Chancroid treatment

Chancroid can be successfully treated with medication or surgery.

Medicine

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing your ulcer. Antibiotics can also reduce the likelihood of scarring as the ulcer heals.

Surgical treatment

Your doctor may remove a large and painful abscess in your lymph nodes with a needle or with surgery. This reduces swelling and pain as the pain heals, but may result in a slight scarring of the area.

What to expect in the long run?

The condition can be cured if treated. If all medications are taken as directed by your doctor, chancroid sores can heal without any obvious scarring. Untreated chancroid conditions can cause permanent scars on the genitals of men and can cause serious complications and infections in women.

If you are diagnosed with chancroids, you are at risk for all other STDs as well, so you should be tested for them as well. Additionally, people with contract chancroid HIV-positive tend to recover more slowly.

Prevention

You can prevent this disease by using condoms during sexual contact.

Other preventive measures include:

  • limiting the number of sexual partners and practicing safe sex
  • avoiding high-risk activities that could lead to chancroid or other sexually transmitted infections
  • alerting all partners to get tested and treated if you develop the condition

Resources:

chancroid. (2015).

HIV basics. (2017).

Lewis D. (2003). Chanchroid: Clinical findings, diagnosis and treatment. DOI:

lymph nodes. (Nd).

Sexually transmitted diseases. (Nd).

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