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How Do You Treat Chancroid?

Healthcare providers recommend treating chancroid with antibiotics. This sexually transmitted infection (STI), however, can sometimes get better on its own. After treatment, schedule a follow-up exam to see if symptoms have improved. If swollen lymph nodes develop as the result of infection, you might need additional treatment.

Chancroid Treatment

A medical provider can prescribe antibiotics to cure the chancroid infection, get rid of the resulting ulcers, and prevent transmission to sexual partners.

You might receive one or more of the following antibiotics to treat the infection:

  • Ceftriaxone: 250 mg intramuscularly as a single dose
  • Azithromycin: 1 g orally as a single dose
  • Ciprofloxacin: 500 mg orally, twice a day for three days
  • Erythromycin: 500 mg orally, three times a day for seven days

With antibiotic treatment, chancroid ulcers begin to heal within three to seven days. It might take two or more weeks for them to heal completely. In advanced cases, scarring might develop.

Though chancroid can resolve on its own, healthcare providers strongly recommend antibiotics. Without medical treatment, an infected person could experience several months of painful ulcers and drainage, which increases the risk of transmission to partners and becoming infected with other STIs.

Chancroid Treatment Follow-Up

Most medical providers recommend getting a follow-up exam within one week of starting antibiotic treatment for chancroid. If you haven’t seen any improvement by this time, additional medical attention is needed.

Infection with HIV or another STI can also negatively affect treatment results. For this reason, you’ll likely get tested for STIs before being treated for chancroid.

Chancroid Abscess Treatment

In addition to developing ulcers, around half of all people with chancroid experience enlarged lymph nodes in the groin. These nodes might need to be drained through needle aspiration or an incision in the skin.

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