Diseases Home > Leprosy Skin Lesions
The type of leprosy that a person has can determine how symptoms appear. In tuberculoid leprosy, skin lesions can appear as one or more light or slightly red patches of skin on the trunk or extremities. There may also be a decrease in light-touch sensation in this area. In lepromatous leprosy, skin lesions can include a symmetrical skin rash on the face, elbows, or knees.
Leprosy Skin Lesions: An Overview
When a person becomes infected with the bacteria that cause leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae), the bacteria begin to multiply within the body. After three to five years, leprosy symptoms will usually begin. This period between becoming infected and the start of symptoms is the "leprosy incubation period." Although the incubation period is typically between three and five years, it can range from six months to several decades.
Leprosy usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves. However, once a person starts experiencing symptoms, they can very in type and intensity. Symptoms will also vary based on the form of leprosy that a person has (tuberculoid leprosy versus lepromatous leprosy).
Tuberculoid leprosy (also known as paucibacillary leprosy) is the mild form of leprosy. Early symptoms of tuberculoid leprosy can include one or more light or slightly red patches of skin that appear on the trunk or extremities. This may be associated with a decrease in light-touch sensation in the area of the rash.
Lepromatous leprosy (also known as multibacillary leprosy) is the severe form of leprosy. Symptoms of this type of leprosy can include a symmetrical skin rash more commonly found on the:
This skin rash can be:
- Small or large
- Flat or raised
- Light or dark.