Types of skin diseases | Rare diseases |Similar to leprosy 2021

Some skin diseases come with symptoms like Lprosy but actually, they are not Leprosy. In this article, I will tell you about some types of skin diseases which show Leprosy symptoms. Many skin diseases appear similar signs and symptoms as in Leprosy. Only a medical practissionar can differentiate between Leprosy and other skin diseases.

What is the main sign to differentiate Leprosy and other skin diseases?

The main sign to differentiate Leprosy and other skin diseases is that in Leprosy patient patch with definite loss of sensation is a must. If a patient has a patch with a definite loss of sensation then it is confirmed that the patient is Leprotic. But if the patient has sensation on the patch then it is another skin disease.

In my previous articles I have told about the history of Leprosy, What causes Leprosy, Signs, and symptoms of Leprosy, Treatment of Leprosy, Self-care of Leprosy patients and so much information which you also read. So come to the main topic.

Types of skin diseases | Non-Leprosy condition of the skin:

Some scars look like leprosy but they are not leprosy:

Some of these are described below:

1.Tinea circinata:

Typical lesions are shown on the face and leg. This is a fungal infection with normal sweating and sensation.

Types of skin diseases


  • The typical lesions shown here are usually itchy, multiple, and symmetrical. 
  • The upper skin of the scalp is usually affected.
  • Treated leason may mimic some forms of paucibacillary (PB) Leprosy, some lesions of PB Leprosy in the reaction may look like psoriasis.


The remarkably white lesion seen here is due to de-pigmentation(complete loss of color) as opposed to the much more typical hypopigmentation (reduction of pigment) seen in leprosy. In vitiligo sensation, sweating, and skin texture are normal.

Types of skin diseases


Such are present from birth. Their edges are clear. Sweating is normal and there is a presence of sensation.

Types of skin diseases

5.Dermal leishmaniasis:

  • This patient resembles some forms of MULTIBACILLARY (MB) leprosy. the Patient shows a nodular lesion of postkala-Azar dermal leishmaniasis(PKDL). WHICH MAY also be mistaken for Leprosy.
  • Leprosy bacteria (AFB)are not found in the bacterial test.
  • The spot may have a normal sensation.
Types of skin diseases

6.Neurofibromatosis(von Recklinghausen’s disease):

  • Multiple nodular lesions, which are soft and may become pendulant (hanging).In this peripheral nerves are not involved. 
  • Leprosy bacteria (AFB)are not found in bacterial tests (skin smears are negative).
  • Dark spots of coffee color are present in this.

7.lupus vulgaris (skin tuberculosis):

  • It is tuberculosis of the skin.
  • Skin manifestations are variable and may be confusing in the diagnosis of leprosy mimicking some forms of PB Leprosy. In Lupus vulgaris Lesions are red(erythematous), infiltrated,slow-growing, well defined, and symptomless, but with a tendency to ulceration and scar formation. Nerves are not involved in this and sensation on the lesions is normal. Most commonly affected areas are the face, neck, and buttocks. In this lymph nodes are also affected.
Types of skin diseases

8.Lichen planus:

  • A relatively common disease of the skin and mucous membranes. Can affect any part of the body, but commonly the wrist, lumber region, and ankles.
  • These spots are purple in color and itchy.
  • Leaves dark marks after healing.
  • Sensation and sweating are normal in these.


  • Not a common condition but the nodules may confuse. the disease is usually associated with high levels of blood cholesterol and appears more commonly in young people.
  • The common site of xanthomatosis is the elbow region.
  • Leprosy bacteria (AFB)are not found in bacterial tests (skin smears are negative).
Types of skin diseases

10.Diabetic neuropathy:

Due to diabetes the sensory nerve may damage and may lead to local anesthesia..this may be confusing with leprosy. This is why It is very important to take a past medical history of the patient to differentiate leprosy and another disease.

11.Alcoholic neuritis:

  • The patient is addicted to alcohol and his face is like an alcoholic.
  • Tongue and lips are red and swollen. Nerves are not thickened.


This is a disease of the spinal cord in which the ability to feel heat and pain are lost but the ability to feel touch remains. Nerves are not thickened.

13.Seborrhoeic dermatitis:

The lesions are widespread, scaly, and itchy. The hairy scalp may be involved with lesions behind the ears. Sensation and sweating are normal and the condition should respond to simple treatment.

Types of skin diseases

14.Tinea Versicolor:

A very common topical condition. well-defined scaly lesions are often widely scattered over the trunk, neck, and limbs. Often co-exists in patients with Leprosy. Sensation and sweating normal, fungal elements easily seen under the microscope.

15.Granuloma annulare:

The lesion may closely resemble some forms of PB Leprosy. Affects mainly, children and young adults. papules or modules appear in a ring-like pattern. There are no enlarged peripheral nerves. sensation and sweating are normal.

Types of skin diseases


Skin appearances are extremely variable and may closely resemble leprosy. the sensation was normal and there was no enlargement of the nerve near the path or in the peripheral nerves typically affected by Leprosy.


Patches may simulate paucibacillary (PB) Leprosy in reaction. the lesion is typically symmetrical symptomless and often associated with malnutrition, alcoholism, and poverty. sensation peripheral nerves and sweating are all normal.

Types of skin diseases

18.Post-inflammatory hypochromia:

Reduction of normal pigment at the site of previous ( possibly recent) inflammation from wounds and simple inflammatory conditions as shown here is common and may occasionally mimic early Leprosy. It is necessary to take a history of the patient, examine for loss of sensation or reduction in sensation.

19.Scar tissue:

Scars tissue is seen very commonly in patients in leprosy endemic areas. They may be caused by cutting, burning, or simple trauma. some scars may show loss of sensation and resemble a patch of PB Leprosy.

Types of skin diseases

20.Contact dermatitis:

Skin contact with a wide range of substances, including dyes, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, plants, plastics, etc. In contrast to leprosy, itching is usually present, especially in the early stages may be intense and lead to scratching and secondary infection. sensation, sweating, and peripheral nerves are normal.

Types of skin diseases

21.Lichenoid dermatitis:

Sometimes the lesion is rounded and looks like coins (nummular LD). These very itchy scaly lesions with reduced coloring (hypopigmentation) may resemble some forms of paucibacillary (PB) Leprosy. Sensation and sweating are completely normal and there are no other signs to support a diagnosis of Leprosy.

22.Tinea corporis:

This prominent scaly lesion is due to infection and should respond to any commonly available antifungal ointment. Sensation and sweating are normal.

Types of skin diseases

23.Granuloma multiform:

  • This condition which mimics leprosy to a remarkable degree was originally described and occurs mainly in Nigeria. But has occasionally been found elsewhere. Its cause is unknown possibly a variant of granuloma annulare. The initial stage is characterized by itching. Lesions disappear sooner or later and do not respond to any form of treatment.
  • Sensation, sweating, and peripheral nerves are normal.
Types of skin diseases

24.Kaposi’s sarcoma:

  • Various forms of this malignant condition may occur in leprosy endemic countries, some of them associated with HIV-AIDS. The hard bullish vascular Nodules bleed easily. feet and hands are the commonest sites of involvement.
  • Sensation, sweating, and peripheral nerves are normal.
Types of skin diseases

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FAQs for Types of skin diseases:

What is the best treatment for Leprosy?

The best treatment for Leprosy is MDT(Multidrug therapy ).MDT includes Refempicin,dapsone and clofazimine . which can completely cure the Leprosy patient. And MDT is completely free of cost available at every government hospital and health care center.

What antibiotic kills leprosy?

Although Leprosy can be treated completely by MDT. MDT is a combination of 3 drugs (Refempicine +clofazimine+dapsone). Refempicine is alone a drug that kills 99 % bacteria in the first dose.

Can leprosy be cured permanently?

Yes, Leprosy can be cured completely by MDT ( Multidrug therapy ).MDT is completely free of cost available at every government hospital and health care center.

Is leprosy spread by touch?

Leprosy is not spread by touching but it is also a droplet infection like tuberculosis. When an infected patient coughs or sneezes, the bacteria comes out with the droplets of that infected patient and enters with the breath inside the healthy person and can be infected the healthy person.

What causes leprosy?

Leprosy is caused by A bacteria named Mycobacterium laprae which is a slow-growing bacteria. This bacteria was discovered by a scientist named Dr.Hansen in 1873.


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