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  Chancroid disease

Chancroid disease is a sexually transmitted disease that presents as painful sores or chancres on the genitals. This disease mainly occurs in developing countries such as African, Asian and Latin American countries. This disease can affect any sexually active individual, but is rare only four thousand cases are reported annually.

Chancroid disease Std
Chancroid disease


Symptoms for chancroid are irregular shaped open sores that are quite painful. Chancroid is a local infection, which does not become systemic. Chancroids are treatable, curable and have no long term health implications. Symptoms for this disease are chancroids appearing on the genitals. The chancroids are painful open sores.

After first being infected, an incubation period of up to two weeks will be followed by a small bump that becomes an ulcer a day later. The ulcer can range in size from 1/8 of an inch to two inches in diameter. The ulcer is irregularly shaped with defined borders. The center of the ulcer has a grey, yellowish pus-like fluid and it easily bleeds if knocked or injured. Fifty percent of male patients have a single ulcer. Female patients typically have four or five ulcers. On men, the ulcers are usually on the glands of the penis and on women they appear on the labia minora.

Other areas for chancroid on men are the foreskin, grove behind the head of the penis, the opening of the penis (urethral meatus), scrotum or the shaft of the penis. On women, chancroid may also appear on opposing surfaces of the labia, perianal area and the inner thighs. The most common symptom for women is painful urination and intercourse. The initial appearance of the chancre can be confused with a hard chancre, a symptom of syphilis. A third of patients develop enlarged inguinal lymph nodes, which may progress to rupturing with abscesses which drain. The swollen lymph nodes and abscesses are referredto as buboes.


A small gram-negative rod organism, haemophilus ducreyi is the bacteria that are the source of chancroids. Gram-negative rod organism are defined as bacteria that do not retain crystal violet dye when stained for microscopic examination, following the Gram staining protocol. Gram positive bacteria will retain the dye after an alcohol wash. After theinitial wash a counter stain is added which will color all Gram-negative bacteria a pink or red shade.


The open sore of chancroid resembles the sore present in syphilis, so this must be ruled out because the treatments are different. Chancroid is diagnosed by Gram stain of culture, biopsy or microscopic exam of a smear sample of the sore.

Diagnosis is determined by culturing H. ducreyi with results checked immediately at the clinic or within four hours. A blood test is usually inconclusive, but can rule out other sexually transmitted diseases.


Buboes may require draining with a needle to prevent bursting. This is performed under local anesthesia. Treatment with antibiotics is curing the infection, but strains are becoming resistant to common antibiotics.

Standard treatment is two weeks of regular doses of one of the following antibiotics: erythromycin, trimethoprin. A single dose of axithromycin or ceftriaxone can also be used to treat chancroid.

Seven days after treatment the patient should be re-examined. If the sore does not show improvement other causes and complications should be examined. When treating chancroid, it is important to remember that large ulcers, and swollen and inflamed lymph nodes take longer to heal. Patients with HIV or another STD or illness may slow the healing process. Doctors should also verify that patients are following the oral antibiotic regimen and check for drug resistant strains of H. ducreyi.

Natural remedies can cure chancroid, but they take longer. The recommended natural remedy involves dietary changes, lifestyle changes, herbal treatments and pain relief treatments. Patients with active chancroid sores should avoid sexual intercourse until the sore is healed. Dietary recommendations include flax seed oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of water, while avoiding alcohol, carbonated beverages, diary foods, sugar, refined flours and fruit juices. Nutricitonal supplements recommended are proteolytic enzymes and vitamin C and zinc. Herbal treatments are used to relieve pain, such as a golden seal poultice applied to sores and a goldenseal/vitamin A suppository. A warm sitz bath with tea tree oil drops, and vaginal douches of goldenseal and Oregon grape root are recommended to relieve pain and discomfort.

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