A case of Hansen Disease presenting as tinea versicolor

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology; Department of Pathology

Publication Date


Document Type



Dermatology | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


Hansen Disease (leprosy) is an infectious disease that targets macrophages and Schwann cells, caused by the acid fast intracellular organism, Mycobacterium leprae. Clinically, it presents with a spectrum of findings that may include hypopigmented macules, erythematous plaques and nodules, and thickened or tender peripheral nerves. The most feared complication is mutilating damage to facial structures or digits resulting from loss of sensation in affected skin. In non-endemic areas, the diagnosis of leprosy is frequently delayed because it may mimic other more common skin conditions. We present a case of borderline/lepromatous leprosy in an otherwise healthy young Brazilian man that was initially diagnosed as tinea versicolor, but did not respond to appropriate treatment. This case highlights the importance of having a high index of suspicion for leprosy in patients from endemic areas who present with lesions that could be consistent with this disease.


Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr 15;19(4):7.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Dermatology online journal

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID