Ulcus tropicum

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: EA40

Desert ulcer, Tropical ulcer, Tropical phagedena.

Special form of Ecthymata.

A disease that is particularly prevalent in the tropics.

  • Intrusion of pathogens through small skin lesions
  • Pathogens: Streptococci and staphylococci, gram-negative bacteria or Plaut Vincent organisms. Often secondary colonisation with fusospirillosis
  • Predisposing factors: malnutrition, especially with protein deficiency
  • Immune suppression

  • Blood-filled bullae result from skin lesions, often after minor injuries. After incision, a necrotic base is visible, which often extends to the subcutaneous tissue, sometimes even deeper to the facia or the muscles and periosteum.
  • In addition, extremely pronounced scarring with dermatogenous contractures requiring amputations have been described in the healing process.

  • Anamnesis
  • Clinic
  • Bact. smear

V.a. distal lower legs.

  • Early antibiotic therapy is essential
  • Recurrences are possible

  1. Adriaans B, Hay R, Drasar B , Robinson D. The infectious aetiology of tropical ulcer—a study of the role of anaerobic bacteria. Br J Dermatol 1987;116:31-7.
  2. MacDonald P. Tropical ulcers: a condition still hidden from the Western world. Journal of Wound Care 2003;12:85-90.
  3. Meyers WM , Portaels F. Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection (Buruli Ulcer). Tropical Infectious Diseases: Elsevier BV; 2006. p. 428-35.
  4. Na. Protozoa in a Case of Tropical Ulcer (Delhi Sore). The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 1904;127:938.