STIs that can infect your Face

STIs that can infect your Face


Syphilis, once nearly wiped out has made a comeback. In fact, one study found that between 2005 and 2013 infection rates grew 50%. 90% of those who contract the disease are men. But what’s more embarrassing than catching a sexually transmitted infection (STI)? Getting it on your face for the world to see. Syphilis is one such disease. Open sores on the mouth or lips may be a sign of infection. This generally develops after oral sex where one comes into contact with an open lesion, known as a chancre. With syphilis, sores generally arise three to six weeks after the incident took place in the genital area. For the face, they appear within four and ten weeks’ time. A lesion appears, what looks like an open sore. They can be large and may appear inside the mouth or on the tongue as well as on the mouth or lip region.  Some people develop bumps around the mouth or even a rash at different places on their body. A minority even experience alopecia or abnormal hair loss. Luckily, syphilis can be cured easily with an antibiotic.

Chlamydia is another bacterial infection. But here instead of on the skin or around the mouth, it resides in the eye. Such an infection looks very much like pinkeye. If left untreated, it can actually cause blindness. This occurs when the eye comes into contact with an infected bodily secretion. Chlamydia of the eye can also be treated with a prescription antibiotic. There is one STI that shows up on the face that cannot, herpes. This is a viral infection. There are two kinds, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The first is the type that develops as a regular cold sore in winter. The other is a sexually transmitted disease. Herpes is spread through the transfer of bodily fluids including kissing, oral sex and intercourse. You do not have to be the one performing the act. If someone has a cold sore and performs oral sex on you, you can also get it.  Even when you wear protection, if you come into contact with someone who has an open sore you have a chance of contracting herpes. 80-90% of those infected fail to show symptoms, however. It is most contagious when the infected person has a breakout, usually a rash of open sores. There is currently no cure, though there are medications to keep it under control and soothe symptoms. To avoid such an issue be careful, use common sense and wear protection. If experiencing any symptoms, be sure to see your physician right away.

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