Wednesday, July 28

Yaws : Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment.

The skin and bones are affected by yaws, an infectious illness. It was once widespread in West Africa, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Haiti, Dominica, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and parts of Brazil. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 are most affected by yaws in these nations, particularly those who wear little clothing, have frequent skin injuries, and reside in locations where yaws are common. 

What is Yaws
A subtype of Treponema pallidum, the bacteria that causes syphilis, a sexually transmitted illness, is responsible for yaws. Yaws, on the other hand, are not sexually transmitted. In addition, unlike syphilis, yaws do not have the ability to harm the heart and circulatory system in the long run. Direct contact with diseased skin is nearly invariably the route of transmission for yaws.

There are three phases of yaws:

Early yaws – A raspberry-like lump forms on the skin three to five weeks after a person is exposed to yaws, most often on the legs or buttocks. This hump, also known as a framboesia or mother yaw, will get bigger over time and develop a thin yellow crust. The region may itch, and surrounding lymph nodes (enlarged glands) may be swollen. Within six months, the bump generally cures on its own.

Second-stage yaws — The following stage of yaws might start while the mother yaw is still visible, or it can take weeks or months after the first stage has healed. A crusty rash appears at this stage, which can affect the face, arms, legs, and buttocks.

Late yaws – Only approximately 10% of persons who are infected with yaws develop late yaws. It can occur five years after the onset of early yaws, resulting in serious damage to the skin, bones, and joints, particularly in the legs. Late yaws can also produce gangosa, also known as rhinopharyngitis mutilans, which attacks and destroys portions of the nose, upper jaw, palate (roof of the mouth), and pharynx (part of the throat). A person with late yaws may experience headaches and nasal discharge if there is oedema around the nose.

Yaws can cause the following symptoms:

A single irritation that looks like raspberry on the skin, mostly on the legs or buttocks, develops a thin, yellow crust.

Lymph nodes swollen (swollen glands).

A brown crust forms on a rash.

Joint and bone discomfort.

On the skin and on the soles of the feet, there are painful lumps or sores.

Swelling and disfigurement of the face (in late yaws).


Your doctor may suspect you of having yaws based on your travel history, symptoms, and physical examination results. He or she will conduct blood testing to see if there is evidence of infection with the bacteria that causes yaws to confirm the diagnosis. A sample of tissue from a skin sore may also be taken by your doctor. This sample will be tested for T. pallidum in a laboratory.

Healing timeframe

With therapy, the mother yaw usually cures rapidly. It generally cures on its own in six months if not treated. Rashes and lesions are more severe and last longer in second-stage and late yaws. Without therapy, the symptoms might reappear after a long period of time.


If you've been in close contact with someone with yaws, your doctor may prescribe penicillin or another antibiotic to help avoid infection.


Yaws is generally treated with a single shot of penicillin, administered in varying dosages depending on the patient's age. Your doctor can treat you with azithromycin, tetracycline, or doxycycline if you are allergic to penicillin (which is available under a variety of brand names).

When Should You Hire A Professional?

If you're experiencing yaws, see your doctor right away, especially if you've just returned from a tropical country.


Treatment for yaws is usually effective. Almost no one ever dies from the illness.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should be used to replace direct medical advice from your doctor or another trained practitioner.
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