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Essential Syphlitic Alopecia
I was wondering if anyone could explain to me "essential syphlitic alopecia".  I read that it is often the only sign of syphilis in absence of other symptoms.  Does anyone know why this occurs or how common it is?  Also, can anyone explain how common erythema nodosum is as an indicator of syphilis?
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Erythema nodosum is a type of skin inflammation that is located in a certain portion of the fatty layer of skin. Erythema nodosum (also called EN) results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs below the knees. The tender lumps, or nodules, of erythema nodosum range in size from 1 to 5 centimeters. The nodular swelling is caused by a special pattern of inflammation in the fatty layer of skin.-This has nothing to do with syphilis.

Syphlitic alopecia is hair loss caused by syphilis and from everything I just read it is very rare or as the articles put it "uncommon".

With syphilis the first stage you get a sore or "canker" at the site of the infection and then stage 2 is a rash usually on the hands/feet and sometime on the mid section of the body.
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Thank you.  I read that erythema nodosum could be a possible indicator of syphlis.  Most things I have read said that it is rare but could play a role, some articles say "EN - still a cause of syphilis".  I am freaking out because I had a case of this 9 years ago, it just appeared out of nowhere on my lower legs same symptoms as it describes.  I had no other rash on my body as syphilis is described in addition to the EN but just felt kind of overall crappy.  To my knowledge, I had no chancre either, but I am a female and have read that it often goes unnoticed.  I plan to go get tested but I am having awful anxiety over this as it is affecting my daily life.  I am just trying to ease my "test anxiety" if you will as I embark on it.  Also, as the symptoms in question happened 9 years ago, I am afraid that I am just going to basically "drop over dead" if this is what I have.  Thank you for your help
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Not knowing where you are from I can tell you that syphilis is pretty rare, espically in developed countries and espically in women.
Now saying that I would doubt that you had syphilis because an article or 2 that you read said "rare" and that statement "EN still a cause of syphilis"-that statement alone is false, EN is not a cause of syphilis, syphilis is the cause of syphilis.

Being as worried as you are 9 years after the fact, see a Dr today and get tested. To help you in the mean time, you don't drop dead from syphilis, you have a number of complications before death enters the picture. And with the lack of real symptoms it would be hard to convince me that you had syphilis.
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I am from Ohio.  I am a heterosexual female.  I never had unprotected vaginal sex during this time in my life, however I did receive unprotected oral and fingering during that same year that the EN appeared.  I guess you could say I "made out" with a few different people during that year as it was my freshman year of college.  It was stupid, I know.  What are the chances of syphilis occuring from this?
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Probably close to zero. Women in America infected with syphilis is rare, I hate to say it but it is really only gay and bi-men get. Not to say you could not get it, but it really hits those communities the hardest. I think there were 20,000 cases od syphilis in the US in 2007 which is pretty low.

Here is all of the benefits working on your side...it is rare for a hetersexual woman in college to obtain it, it is rare for a woman to obtain it, it is rare in America in general. Making out really is not going to pass syphilis and the oral sex that you had is very very low risk because that means the guy would have had to have a sore in his mouth and probably got it from a man.

It is something that is so small of a risk it is not even worth worrying about. You can do the math if you want but here is a stat for you...US population last year 303,824,640 and syphilis cases was 11,181-mostly from gay and bi-sexual men. So even if you cut the reported cases in 1/2 you still have a better chance of being hit by an airplane crashing then you do of getting syphilis. And 9 years ago I think syphilis was lower then it is now.
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What if a man had mucous patches in his mouth instead of "the sore"?  Would this pass syphilis to a woman's genital area?  What are the chances that the typical syphilis (hand and feet and in general) rash would not show up but that the condition erythema nodosum would instead?  I have no idea if I ever saw any mucous patches in anyone's mouth, but would presume that it would pass to the mouth during kissing before it would reach the genital region in a makeout session.
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I really can't take this any further, I have given you solid stats that basically say you have no chance but you are not reading what I am giving you and really letting it sink in. "What if's" can drive you crazy and is not something we do here because it leads to exactly what you are doing...what if this or what if that. It is not healthy.
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I know.  It is all just very confusing.  Thank you fro your help.
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Since you asked me to respond, I have to say that your really reaching here, and you aren't going to know a thing until you get tested.  There are lots of things that cause hair loss, and I found this on EN:

Erythema nodosum may occur as an isolated condition or in association with other conditions. Conditions that are associated with erythema nodosum include medications (sulfa-related drugs, birth control pills, estrogens), strep throat, Cat scratch disease, fungal diseases, infectious mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, Behcet's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and normal pregnancy.  http://www.medicinenet.com/erythema_nodosum/page2.htm#2whatcauses

I think your fear is disproportionate to the risk, and you need to test to put this behind you, once and for all.  I'd be very surprised if you had syphilis.

Aj
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