Don't be ignorant about this disease
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Risk - any sex with another

Often there are no symptoms

Street names

soft chancre, soft sore, soft ulcer

Facts about chancroid

  • Caused by a capsule-shaped bacterium called Haemophilus ducreyi.
  • About 4000+ cases in U.S. each year.
  • Spread by direct contact with a sore during any sex act.
  • Ejaculation not needed to spread infection.
  • No mother to baby transmission.
  • Not spread by toilet seats or clothes.


Chancroid infection
  • Starts as tender bump on penis, inside or outside the vagina, rectum or anywhere.
  • 1-2 days later, the bump becomes a shallow sore that opens and deepens. Becomes painful and full of pus.
  • Lymph glands in groin get infected and swell so much they can burst. This swelling is called a bubo. The pus from the sore is infectious.
  • Sores may last for weeks and take months to heal.
Bubos and lesions due to Chancroid


  • The correct antibiotic will kill the bacterium. Your doctor determines which antibiotic to use.
  • No over-the-counter drugs work.
  • Chancroid can occur repeatedly and at the same sites.


  • Only 100% completely safe option - choose not to have sex!
  • Latex condoms help but sores can be on or away from the penis.

Individual help

If you have further questions or concerns about STDs, ask Dr. Mike, an internationally known Clinical Microbiologist specializing in STDs. He has worked extensively with teenage boys and contributed all the information and STD images on the disease pages here.

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