Chancroid is an acute, localized, self limited autoinoculable genital infection. Chancroid is especially dangerous because the sores it causes increase the chances of getting HIV infection.
Chancroid begins with small bump (papule) that becomes an ulcer within a day of its appearance. The ulcer characteristically:
• Ranges in size dramatically (from 1/8 inch to 2 inches across) and is painful.
• Has sharply defined boarders.
• Have irregular or ranged borders.
• Has a base that is covered with a grey or yellowish material.
• Has a base that bleeds easily if traumatized or scraped
About half of infected men have only a single ulcer. Women frequently have 4 or more ulcers. The ulcers appear in specific locations.
Common locations of chancroid in men are:
• Groove behind the head of the penis
• Shaft of the penis
• Head of the penis
• Opening of the penis
In women the most common location is the labia majora. “Kissing ulcers” may develop in females. These are ulcers that occur on opposing surface of the labia. Other areas such as the labia minora, perianal area, and inner thighs may also be the ulcer.
Approximately half of the infected individuals will develop enlargement of the inguinal lymph nodes, the nodes located in the fold between the legs and the lower abdomen. Half of those who develop swelling of the inguinal lymph nodes will progress to a point where the nodes rupture through the skin producing draining abscesses. The swollen lymph nodes and abscesses are often referred to as buboes.