Indexed with PubMed and Science Citation Index (E) 
Users online: 4742 
     Home | Feedback | Login 
About Current Issue Archive Ahead of print Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe What's New Contact  
  Navigate here 
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
 Resource links
   Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
   Article in PDF (104 KB)
   Citation Manager
   Access Statistics
   Reader Comments
   Email Alert *
   Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded142    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 6    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2005  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-135

Ulcerative lupus vulgaris

Dermatologist, Urban Health Center, Departments of Community Medicine and Pathology, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar - 608 002, India

Correspondence Address:
L Padmavathy
B 3 RSA Complex, Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar - 608002, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.14007

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Padmavathy L, Rao LL. Ulcerative lupus vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2005;71:134-5

How to cite this URL:
Padmavathy L, Rao LL. Ulcerative lupus vulgaris. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2005 [cited 2020 Jul 6];71:134-5. Available from:


Lupus vulgaris is in most instances a chronic slowly progressive disease, occurring in patients with immunity produced by previous tuberculous infection. The individual lesions begin as reddish brown papules that coalesce to form a plaque with a serpiginous border. The plaque grows by peripheral extension, while healing at one end. Large ulcerative lesions are not commonly encountered. In western countries LV is common on the face, while in India, lesions are more often encountered on extremities and trunk. A case of a large ulcerative lesion of LV on sole is being reported.

A 15 year old girl presented with an ulcer on the right foot of 2½ years duration. It started as a small papule on the right sole which broke down and ulcerated. Over the course of a few months it spread to involve the whole sole. She did not have cough or fever. Family history of tuberculosis was negative.

On examination, she was found to be very emaciated. A large ulcer 15 cm x 8 cm, covered with slough, was seen on the right sole, extending onto the sides of the foot. [Figure - 1] Foul smelling, purulent discharge was present. Movements of foot were not restricted. Other systems were clinically normal, except for Bitot's spots in the eyes.

All relevant hematological and biochemical investigations were within normal limits. There was no evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis and no bony pathology could be detected on X-Ray of the right foot. ELISA test for HIV infection, VDRL and Mantoux test were negative.

An initial biopsy done after controlling the super-added infection by antibiotics revealed only granulation tissue. However, a repeat biopsy showed a tuberculoid granuloma in the deep dermis. The tissue sections were however negative for AFB by the ZN stain. The patient was managed with standard antitubercular therapy. In two weeks, the ulcer showed signs of healing [Figure - 2] and by the end of two months the ulcer healed well with a thin atrophic scar.

The frequent localization of LV to the face in the West could be due to the rich and porous venous plexuses with stasis, cold and hypoxia, and impaired fibrinolysis and host defense at a lower temperature.[1] In India, LV was found to be the most common form of cutaneous tuberculosis, by different workers.[2],[3] The maximum incidence of the lesions was seen on the lower extremities[4] especially buttocks, probably due to accidental inoculation of children squatting on the ground, where M. tuberculosis might have been deposited from the infected sputum of a family member.[4],[5] Pyogenic infection of the gluteal region is common in India and the breach in the integrity of skin can serve as a portal of entry for the AFB.

The present case is highlighted for the rare incidence of the ulcerative form of lupus vulgaris and the large size of the ulcer. Since tuberculosis is a curable condition, awareness of the tuberculous etiology in any chronic ulcer goes a long way in ensuring a good prognosis.

  References Top

1.Findlay GH. Bacterial Infections. In: The Dermatology of Bacterial Infections.1st Ed. Editors. Findlay GH, London: Blackwell Scientific; 1987. p. 71-83.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Mammen A, Thambiah AS. Tuberculosis of the skin. Indian J Dermatol Venereol 1973;39:153-9.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Kumar B, Muralidhar S. Cutaneous tuberculosis - a twenty year prospective study. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 1999;3:494-500.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]    
4.Pandhi RK, Bedi TR, Kanwar AJ, Bhutani LK. Cutaneous Tuberculosis - A clinical and Investigative Study. Indian J Dermatol 1977;22:99-107.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]    
5.Singh G. Lupus Vulgaris in India. Indian J Dermatol Venereol 1974;40:257-60.  Back to cited text no. 5      


  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Childhood multicentric lupus vulgaris
Murugan, S., Vetrichevvel, T.P., Subramanyam, S., Subramanian, A.
Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2011; 56(3): 343-344
2 A unilateral periorbital papulonodular eruption
Erkek, E., Ayaşlịlu, E., Olut, A.I., Bozdogan, O., Ozdemir, S.
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. 2009; 34(3): 431-432
3 A unilateral periorbital papulonodular eruption
E. Erkek,E. Ayaslioglu,A. I. Olut,O. Bozdogan,S. Ozdemir
Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. 2009; 34(3): 431
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Lupus vulgaris of external nose
Satheesh Kumar Bhandary,B. Usha Ranganna
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. 2008; 60(4): 373
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Lupus vulgaris of external nose
Bhandary, S.K., Ranganna, B.U.
Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery 60 (4), pp. 373-375. 2008; 60(4): 373-375
6 A non-healing chronic plaque on buttocks in a child: Lupus vulgaris
Zawar, V., Chuh, A., Gugle, A., Sankalecha, S.
Journal of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. 2007; 2(2): 109-111


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow