Chancroid: Its Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Doctors near Atlanta who offer STD testing and treatment see a broad range of sexually transmitted diseases, and one of the less common ones is called chancroid. Continue reading to learn about this condition’s causes, symptoms, and treatments. STD - chanchroid

Causes

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that’s caused by the Haemophilus ducreyi bacteria. This disease isn’t diagnosed too often in STD testing clinics in the United States, but it’s more commonly seen in Africa and Southwest Asia. Most people who receive this diagnosis in the US have traveled to areas where chancroid is more common.

Symptoms

After becoming infected with chancroid, a person will develop a small bump on his or her genitals in 1 day to 2 weeks. Within a day after the bump first appears, it will progress to an ulcer that can be 1/8” to 2” in diameter. This ulcer is soft, painful, has sharply defined borders, and has a base that bleeds easily and is covered by a gray or yellow-gray material. Men often have just 1 ulcer, while women tend to have 4 or more. In men, common locations for the ulcer include the scrotum, foreskin, and head, opening, or shaft of the penis. In women, the labia majora are the most common locations for the chancroid ulcers, but they can also develop on the labia minora, the perineal area, or on the inner thighs.

Treatments

To diagnose chancroid, your doctor will examine the ulcer or ulcers, check your lymph nodes for swelling, and perform STD testing to rule out other possible diseases because there is no blood test available for chancroid. If you’re diagnosed with a chancroid infection, then you will be prescribed an antibiotic. Also, any swollen lymph nodes may need to be drained using a syringe or local surgery. It’s possible for chancroid to resolve on its own, but treatment with antibiotics can help the lesions heal more quickly and reduce scarring.