SYPHILIS is traditionally an infection which simulates the symptoms and physical observations of many other diseases. This paper reports a series of 10 cases in which the lesions of secondary syphilis resembled dermatophytosis of the feet. In two of these a local Herxheimer reaction occurred after the first therapeutic injection of penicillin.
T. L. Chin1 in China in 1932 reported three cases with dermatophytosis-like syphilitic lesions. In 1940 Thomas and Bluefarb2 described six similar cases in New York, and L. Selmi3 found one such case in Italy in 1941. Stokes4 and his associates mention a patient with interdigital syphilitic condylomata in their textbook. Undoubtedly this small number of cases is not indicative of the incidence of such lesions but perhaps of the failure to recognize their syphilitic etiology.
Of interest is the incidence of similar foot lesions in another systemic disease of spirochetal origin, yaws. Dr.
DEXTER HT. INTERDIGITAL INFECTIOUS SYPHILITIC LESIONS SIMULATING DERMATOPHYTOSIS: Report of Ten Cases. AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;63(5):581–585. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570050039004
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