A chancre (// SHANG-kər) is a painless genital ulcer most commonly formed during the primary stage of syphilis. This infectious lesion forms around 21 days after the initial exposure to Treponema pallidum, the gram-negative spirochaete bacterium causing syphilis, but can range from 10 to 90 days. Without treatment it may persist for two to six weeks before healing. Chancres transmit syphilis through direct physical contact. These ulcers usually form on or around the anus, mouth, penis and vulva.
Similarities with chancroid
- Both originate as pustules at the site of inoculation, and progress to ulcerated lesions
- Both lesions are typically 1–2 cm in diameter
- Both lesions are caused by sexually transmissible organisms
- Both lesions typically appear on the genitals of infected individuals
Differences from chancroid
|Caused by Treponema pallidum infection||Caused by Haemophilus ducreyi infection|
|Typically painless||Typically painful|
|Typically single lesion||Typically multiple lesions|
|Regional bilateral lymph node enlargement||Regional unilateral lymph node enlargement|
|Typically exudes serum||Typically has a grey or yellow purulent exudate|
|Hard (indurated) base with sloping edges||Soft base with undermined edges|
|Heals spontaneously within three to six weeks||Requires antibiotic treatment|
- Chancres can occur in the pharynx as well as on the genitals. Not to be confused with condylomata lata, which is seen in secondary syphilis.
The word "chancre" (French pronunciation: [ʃɑ̃kʁ]) means "little ulcer" in Old French. Related to the English "canker", they both come from the Latin cancer, meaning "crab", which is a translation from the Greek word καρκίνος (karkínos), also meaning "crab".
- chancres thefreedictionary[full citation needed]
- Hook, Edward W. (2012). "Syphilis". Goldman's Cecil Medicine. pp. e157–e163. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4377-1604-7.00569-8. ISBN 978-1-4377-1604-7.
- "Chancroid". The Lecturio Medical Concept Library. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
- "What's the Difference Between a Chancre and a Chancroid?". NURX. Retrieved 7 July 2021.
- medterms.com Archived 2012-08-06 at the Wayback Machine[full citation needed]
- Ayto, John (1990). Dictionary of Word Origins. New York: Arcade Publishing, Inc. p. 94. ISBN 1-55970-214-1.