A bacterial disease that spreads through a sexual contact, and is caused by a type of bacteria called Haemophilus ducreyi. Chancroid mainly develops in third world countries. In the U.S., people that are diagnosed with this disease have traveled outside the country and have been to areas where the disease is present.

Chancroid is a risk factor for the HIV virus, which also puts men uncircumcised men at a much higher risk to get this kind of disease.


Within 1 day – 2 weeks after getting chancroid, a person will get a small bump in the genitals. The bump becomes an ulcer within a day of its appearance. The ulcer:

  • Ranges in size from 1/8 inch to 2 inches across
  • Is painful
  • Is soft
  • Has sharply defined borders
  • Has irregular or ragged borders
  • Has a base that is covered with a grey or yellowish-grey material
  • Has a base that bleeds easily if banged or scraped

About half of infected men have only a single ulcer. Women often have 4 or more ulcers. The ulcers appear in specific locations.

Common locations in men are:

  • Opening of the penis (urethral meatus)
  • Shaft of the penis
  • Scrotum
  • Head of the penis (glans)
  • Foreskin (prepuce)
  • Groove behind the head of the penis (coronal sulcus)