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Ask Dr. K

Does the rash from syphilis always occur on the hands and feet or can it sometimes occur on the abdomen, back and arms?

It is impossible to diagnose your problem online. Only a doctor can give you a definite answer. That said, there are many things not spread thru sex that cause lumps and bumps on the genitals. A common one is a small cyst, sometimes called a sebaceous or epidermoid cyst. Wart virus can also be spread by fingering or petting without sex and cause lumps or bumps.

Rashes caused by syphilis can appear anywhere. A rash commonly appears on the back, flank, chest or stomach and can also appear on the feet or hands. The best thing you can do, if you think you might have syphilis is to get a blood test. Visit your doctor or local STD clinic. In San Francisco, check out, elsewhere

Syphilis is spread from person to person by physical contact during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Syphilis infections are treatable and curable with antibiotics. For information about syphilis in general, visit or various pages on

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
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