Ulcus molle (chancroid), also known colloquially as soft chancre, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi. The STD causes ulcers on the genitals, accompanied by swelling of the lymph nodes. Ulcus molle can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
What is Ulcus molle?
Ulcus molle is a sexually transmitted infectious disease. The disease is predominantly found in warmer countries and occurs only sporadically in Europe, usually in individuals who have recently returned from endemic areas. For what does the abbreviation ks stand for, please visit usvsukenglish.com.
Recent reports from Southeast Asia and Africa indicate that the incidence of Ulcus molle relative to genital herpes is currently declining. Various studies have now shown that Ulcus molle is a significant co-factor in the transmission of the immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).
The improved diagnosis and treatment of Ulcus molle therefore also plays an important role in combating the HIV-1 epidemic. Mainly men are affected by Ulcus molle, while in women the course of the disease is without recognizable symptoms in about half of the infections.
Ulcus molle is caused by the Streptobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi, which is transmitted through sexual intercourse with infected people. The bacterium is very sensitive to dehydration and cold, which is why it is mainly found in tropical countries (Africa, Latin America or Asia).
The infectious process of Ulcus molle affects the genital skin as a result of tiny epidermal abrasions during sexual intercourse, during which the pathogen lodges under the skin. Initially, slightly inflamed blisters develop 4-7 days after infection before pustules form. Ulcus molle lesions usually occur on the foreskin and penile shaft in men and on the vulva, cervix or labia in women.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Ulcus molle is characterized by ulcers in the genital area. Both men and women can be affected. The disease begins with the formation of a small nodule at the point of entry of the pathogen. In the further course, the small knot develops into an ulcer (ulcus). The ulcer appears irregularly bordered, flat and bordered with red.
It causes severe pain and forms pockets of pus that may burst. The edge of the ulcer is soft (lat. mollis). The soft chancre usually consists of multiple ulcers that can fuse together. In men, the ulcers appear mainly on the penis, under the foreskin or on the skin band, which is located below the glans.
In women, ulcers usually appear on the vagina. Since they often do not cause any pain there, Ulcus molle can also go unnoticed in women. Depending on the practices of sexual intercourse, ulceration of the anus or oral mucosa is also possible. Half of the patients develop other symptoms that can be attributed to the spread of the pathogen via the lymphatic system.
Painful [[lymph node inflammation|inflammation of the lymph nodes can occur in the groin area. They then swell and can also form ulcers and abscesses. The soft chancre is easy to treat. During the infection, however, the risk of contracting other sexually transmitted diseases is greatly increased.
Diagnosis & History
If the pustules are not treated, flat, painful ulcers with nodular accumulations of cells and a purulent discharge form within 2-3 days . In addition, Ulcus molle ulcers contain numerous positive T-lymphocytes, which further increases the susceptibility of HIV -infected persons.
Complications from Ulcus molle in men include narrowing of the foreskin and progressive ulceration. In addition, there are painfully swollen lymph nodes, which can rupture spontaneously in the event of severe suppuration. A timely diagnosis of Ulcus molle is usually only possible with pathological changes. A urologist should therefore be consulted as soon as the first symptoms appear.
For diagnosis, a clinical examination of a smear test for the causative agent of Ulcus molle from an ulcer or the lymph fluid is carried out. In order to rule out an infection with another sexually transmitted disease, the diagnosis is additionally secured by breeding from the pathogen strain. In principle, an HIV test should be carried out parallel to the diagnosis of Ulcus molle.
In the case of Ulcus molle, patients primarily suffer from severe inflammation. This occurs primarily at the point at which the pathogen entered. The area itself is clearly reddened and can also be affected by itching.
Furthermore, due to the Ulcus molles, a very painful ulcer develops there, which significantly reduces and restricts the quality of life of the affected person. In many cases, they also suffer from inferiority complexes or reduced self-esteem, since the complaint can also have a very negative effect on the aesthetics of the person concerned. Furthermore, the patient’s lymph nodes swell significantly and the affected person feels weak and exhausted.
Furthermore, the disease can also lead to a painful narrowing of the foreskin. In most cases, Ulcus molle can be treated relatively easily and quickly with the help of medication. After about a week, the symptoms disappear and there are no further complications. However, the patients are dependent on regular check-ups and examinations by the doctor so that there are no further complaints. The life expectancy of the patient is not negatively affected if the treatment is successful.
When should you go to the doctor?
A doctor should always be consulted in the case of Ulcus molle. It is a serious disease that can lead to serious complications if not treated properly. Therefore, with this disease, it is necessary to see a doctor at the first signs and symptoms to prevent further complications or discomfort.
The sooner a doctor is consulted for this disease, the better the further course of the disease. A doctor should be contacted if there is a very strong fever. As a rule, the patients feel tired and exhausted and can no longer actively participate in everyday life. A doctor should be consulted if these symptoms occur, especially after unprotected sex. There is also severe pain in the joints and general weakness.
The Krnakehit Ulcus molle can be recognized in a hospital or by a general practitioner. The earlier the doctor is consulted, the better the further course is, as a rule.
Treatment & Therapy
Ulcus molle is usually treated with antibiotic therapy, although pregnant women should be treated with care. A three-day oral therapy with ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day has usually proven itself in the therapy of Ulcus molle.
It is also possible to take erythromycin over a period of 7-10 days. Ceftriaxone can also be administered as a single dose as an intramuscular injection. If necessary, filled lymph nodes are opened to prevent later inflammatory rupture of the nodes.
In addition, thorough personal hygiene in the genital area is recommended for Ulcus molle in order to dry the ulcers or keep them clean and thus counteract further inflammatory processes. Baths with quinosol, potassium permanganate or anti-inflammatory substances are suitable for this. In addition to the need for absolute sexual abstinence, successful therapy also includes the regular sexual partner(s) in the treatment in order to avoid repeated infection with Ulcus molle. A follow-up examination after 3 months can confirm healing, which rules out a chronic condition.
Protected sexual intercourse (safer sex) is generally recommended to avoid infection with Ulcus molle. Avoiding vaginal or seminal fluid entering the body is secured by using a condom. This is the only way to prevent the pathogen bacteria from entering the body via the mucous membranes.
Medical follow-up care is not necessary for a fully healed Ulcus molle. With early and consistent treatment with antibiotics, it can be assumed that the infection will not leave any serious long-term effects. The ulcers will heal over time. Sexual intercourse should be avoided until the area has healed completely, so that the weakened tissue can recover and further risks of infection can be ruled out. Wearing loose-fitting underwear can make it easier for the affected body parts to heal.
Follow-up care for Ulcus molle can only be necessary if the bacterial infection has been delayed for some time. This is especially true when the lymph nodes are already severely affected and purulent abscesses have formed. On the one hand, these need to be opened by the doctor and, on the other hand, represent an entry point for pathogens. In these cases, good wound care is important even after antibiotic treatment.
In cases that are difficult to treat or have been delayed for a very long time, a follow-up examination should also be considered. This can determine whether antibiotic therapy against the soft chancre was completely successful or not. Nevertheless, Ulcus molle usually leads neither to serious complications nor to subsequent diseases. Medical follow-up care is therefore not necessary in most cases.
You can do that yourself
An important contribution to self-help in the event of an infection with the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi is to ensure thorough cleanliness and hygiene in the intimate area. It is important to keep the ulcers caused by the infection dry and clean to speed healing. In this way, those affected also prevent secondary infections.
The best way to clean the intimate area is in the shower. Sitz baths with anti-inflammatory substances such as potassium permanganate can also be helpful. A beneficial effect is also attributed to baths with highly concentrated salt from the Black Sea. However, salt baths can be painful for open ulcers, so this form of therapy is not recommended for patients who are sensitive to pain.
Sexual abstinence is also important until the symptoms have subsided. A permanent sexual partner should also be included in the therapy, otherwise there is a risk of permanent mutual infection.
Ulcus molle is usually treated with antibiotics. Women who are sensitive to these active ingredients should use lactic acid suppositories from the pharmacy as a precaution. These preparations stabilize the vaginal environment and can thus prevent treatment with antibiotics from leading to a vaginal yeast infection.
In order to prevent new infections, unprotected sexual intercourse should be avoided after successful therapy. In particular, direct contact with vaginal and seminal fluid should be avoided.