Symptoms in the first, or primary stage, occur about 10 days to 90 days after exposure. (The most common timeframe for symptoms to occur after exposure is 21 days.)
Symptoms in the first, or primary stage, are
- a single, painless sore appears, usually in the genital areas but may appear in the mouth - sometimes you have more than one sore - sores heal on their own
Note: If the infection is not treated, it moves to the next stage.
Symptoms in the next, or secondary, stage are
- skin rash on the hands and feet that usually does not itch and clears on its own - fever - swollen lymph glands - sore throat - patchy hair loss - headaches - weight loss - muscle aches - tiredness
In the last stage, which is called the latent, or hidden, stage, the symptoms listed above disappear. But the infection remains in the body, where it can damage the brain, nerves, eyes, heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints.
Source: National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.womenshealth.gov