Multibacillary leprosy: erythema as the only clinical presentation.
Leprosy is a chronic granulomatous infection caused by Mycobacterium leprae, which primarily affects the skin and peripheral nerves. In this article, we present a 45-year-old man and a 39-year-old women who suffered from asymptomatic irregular erythemas on their trunk and extremities. Since both patients denied the history of exposure to leprosy patients and were absent clinical signs of superficial sensation dysfunction and enlarged peripheral nerves, they were diagnosed of mycosis fungoides and livedo reticularis clinically. Nevertheless the biopsies of erythemas showed perineural and periadnexal foamy-cell granulomas in the dermis and Fite staining revealed a large number of acid-fast bacilli. A diagnosis of multibacillary leprosy was made finally. These cases revealed that since leprosy is still epidemic in some remote area in China and in other developing countries and its clinical manifestations may be very weird sometimes, the dermatologists should be alert of it and skin biopsy could confirm the diagnosis.