What is Chancroid?

It is bacterial infection that can cause sores on men and women genitals. This infection is caused by a bacterium named as Hemophilus ducreyi. H. Ducreyi infects cells by entering through wounds and stimulates fibroblasts, keratinocytes, endothelial cells or melanocytes and these cells in turn secrete interleukins.

This bacterium cannot only transfer from open wounds; it can also transfer before the lesion appears.

It is highly contagious and cause bleeding ulcers of the organs. People who are sexually active are at higher risk of getting infected. It can also spread from skin to skin contact. An uncircumcised man is more likely to be infected.

This infection after exposure comes up in three to seven days in the form of a bump. The cells causing the bump gradually die out causing Chancroid sores or ulcer.

It also causes the lymph nodes of the inguinal region to swell. The infection is mostly seen in Africa and southwest Asia.

What are the symptoms of Chancroid?

Its symptoms appear initially after three to five days of exposure. A small, red bump is seen that is tender, is seen on the point of contact and it then develops into an ulcer, and the area becomes broken, deep and inflamed.

The bump ranges in size from 0.125 inches to three inches and bump starts becoming ulcer by the passage of time. The bump is soft and has well defined borders. Ulcer is soft and yellowish gray at the center.

The ulcers may bleed and cause pain during sexual intercourse. Lymph nodes get swell and break the skin on the areas of swelling which later change into an abscess (pus accumulation).

Men often develop sores on penis and women develop sores on vagina. It is also called as Kissing Ulcer as it develops around the lips as well. In women they can cause painful urination.

How can I know if have Chancroid?

Tests can be done by taking samples from the fluid that seeps out of the sores. One must visit one’s family physician or health care provider to know about this STD.

Although the sores of Chancroid look same as that of herpes and syphilis so a sample from the fluid of sores is cultured in the lab and a blood test is also conducted to check the presence of syphilis.

If herpes and syphilis is absent in the tests the only thing left would be Chancroid. If your tests are positive for Chancroid, the physician will test you for HIV because many of the STDs are associated with HIV.

Keep taking STDs tests if your are sexually active even when your tests for HIV, syphilis and Chancroid are negative.

Is there a treatment for Chancroid?

A successful treatment can cure this STD and prevent it from spreading. But if the Chancroid is left untreated it can cause serious complications in both men and women.

According to a famous proverb-prevention is better than cure, one must try to prevent the outbreak of this STD before anything else. One can prevent from having Chancroid if one can use condoms, have single sex partner or sometimes abstinence.

If one gets infected from this disease, one can definitely be treated.

Medication is prescribed in most of the cases to treat Chancroid and the medication includes antibiotics that help to decrease the chances of ulceration.

Medicines from the class of macrolides are given i.e. Azithromycin and erythromycin. Quinolones like ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin; sulfonamides like sulfisoxazole are prescribed to treat Chancroid.

An operation can also treat the pain caused by Chancroid in which the abscess is punctured by a needle and the pus pours out so the swelling can be reduced as well as the pain.

Where can I get a test or treatment for Chancroid?

One can get a treatment from STD clinics or through one’s family physician. Chancroid can be tested in local labs or by your health care provider through a thorough examination.

How is Chancroid spread?

Chancroid is a very contagious infection and can easily spread through sexual contact with an infected person. It can also spread through skin-to-skin contact with the sores of infected person. Chancroid can spread by using shared needles or by sharing infected person’s clothes or towel.

How can I prevent getting or spreading Chancroid?

If one is really concerned with his/her her health one will definitely seek prevention to reduce getting and spreading any of the STDs. First of all, abstinence from all the sexual activities is a complete solution to prevent Chancroid but if one can’t do this there are many other options.

One can follow the guidelines of safer sex to keep him/herself from getting Chancroid. Male or female condoms are a quite easy way to reduce the risk for Chancroid and other HIV related STDs.

Proper use of preventive barriers like dental dams or sheer glydes can help one to protect oneself from the disease. Avoiding touching the sores of the partner can also reduce the risk of getting infected.

If one limit one’s sexual partners or avoid high-risk activities can be a good prevention. It will be a great idea if one stop using intoxicating drugs or alcohol before sexual activity because if one is under the affect of alcohol, one won’t bother the use of protective barriers and being intoxicated one can be led toward more and more unsafe sexual activities.

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