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What are the types of tertiary syphilis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Tertiary syphilis is the third and last stage of the infection. About 15% of people who have untreated syphilis will develop some type of tertiary, or late, syphilis. In some cases, people may develop benign tertiary syphilis in which soft growths called gummas can develop anywhere on the skin or internal organs. These slowly-growing growths can eventually destroy the surrounding tissue. Some people develop cardiovascular syphilis, usually after ten to 25 years of being infected. This type can cause major problems with the heart and its connecting blood vessels, which may cause heart failure or other problems. Neurosyphilis can develop about five to ten years after being infected. This type of syphilis infects the brain and spinal cord and can cause dizziness, personality changes, headaches, muscle weakness, and even paralysis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.