Tuberculous cellulitis

Clinical dermatology • Concise report


: E. H. Choi, Department of Dermatology, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, 162 Ilsan-Dong, Wonju, 220-701, Korea. Tel: +82 371 741 0623. Fax: +82 371748 2650. E-mail:


We report a case of cutaneous tuberculosis presenting as cellulitis. The patient was a 63-year-old Korean woman who also had diabetes mellitus and a 20-year-history of oral corticosteroid medication prescribed for arthralgia. In addition, she had had pulmonary tuberculosis 20-year previously for which she received systemic treatment for 1 year. Her clinical cellulitis failed to respond to antibiotic therapy. Subsequent investigations, using histopathology and polymerase chain reaction, established an alternative diagnosis of cutaneous tuberculosis. The skin eruption cleared after treatment with isoniazid, rifampicin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide. This case represents a most unusual presentation of tuberculosis in the skin. The atypical features may reflect the patient's general medical state.