Fetal complications include stillbirths and spontaneous abortions. Changes in the skin include a papular rash that often has a coppery hue with a preference for the palms and soles and erosive or bullous lesions. Common congenital anomalies include hepatosplenomegaly, thrombocytopenia and anemia. Hutchinson's triad consists of Hutchinson's teeth (barrel-shaped incisors with a notch at the cutting edge), eighth nerve deafness and interstitial keratitis. Infiltration about the mouth occurs in congenital syphilis which may leave radiating scars and fissures called rhagades upon healing.


Treating any mother who contracts syphilis with penicillin is very effective at preventing congenital syphilis. For children born with this condition, a multidisciplinary approach is needed.


Figure 3 is Hutchison's teeth. BMJ Case Rep. 2011 Dec 21;2011

Acta Derm Venereol 2014; 94: 321–322

New Zealand Health Board

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