Q. Is it possible to get syphilis through kissing?

Answered by
Dr. Peter Bryant Rapsing Grutas
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 02, 2020 and last reviewed on: Mar 06, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have a question about syphilis.

I am 29 years old, female. I am not sexually active but I got engaged recently and my fiancé had previous relationships. He only kisses me sometimes which I am worried that by kissing some disease might be transferred to me from him. I got skin rash on my palms and feet 5 days ago. And when I was searching I came across syphilis. Can syphilis be transmitted through a kiss? I went to a doctor and he told me it is a skin virus HFMV and gave me antibiotic cream. I did not mention the kissing part to him. But he took blood test, crp was normal, also blood count test was normal. I did not mention this to my partner yet. I am really worried that it could be some other disease.



Welcome to

Syphilis cannot be transmitted through kissing. It is only transmitted through oral, anal and genital sex. However, syphilis can cause oral ulcers. If you kissed someone with an active oral ulcer, then the risk of getting syphilis through kissing may occur. Is there anything else I can help you with? Or anything that is not clear to you? I would gladly clarify them.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for your quick response. So if my partner had oral ulcer when he kissed me (french kiss) what would be the symptoms of syphilis in me? I mean I did not get ulcer, what would be the first thing I might get?



Welcome back to

If you were infected through the mouth, intial symptoms would be appearance of ulcers on the lips, mouth or on tongue. It can appear within 3 weeks or as early as 10 days after exposure. If there was no ulcerations by then, infection is least likely. Appearance of rashes in palms appear two to ten weeks after primary infection. The ulcers should appear first then disappear before the rashes appear. Other symptoms of secondary syphilis infection includes fever, headache, muscle ache, fatigue and swollen lymph glands.

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