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Br J Dermatol. 1997 Apr;136(4):483-9.

Cutaneous tuberculosis in Blackburn district (U.K.): a 15-year prospective series, 1981-95.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Blackburn Royal Infirmary, Lancs, UK.


Data collected prospectively on all 1065 cases of tuberculosis occurring in the Blackburn district, U.K. (population 265,000), over a 15-year period have been analysed, and from these 47 cases of cutaneous tuberculosis have been identified. The most common form was scrofuloderma, skin involvement with adjacent structural disease, of which there were 26 cases (55.3%). There was no ethnic bias in this group. The eight white patients with scrofuloderma were of average age 66 years, and are thought to represent reactivation disease. Six patients (12.8%) had lupus vulgaris, four (8.5%) had metastatic tuberculosis and 10 (21.3%) were diagnosed as having one of the tuberculides, of which Bazin's disease (erythema induratum) was the most common. In addition, one patient (2.2%) had orificial tuberculosis. In contrast to scrofuloderma, all other forms of cutaneous tuberculosis occurred almost exclusively in patients from the Indian Subcontinent (ISC). The high incidence of tuberculosis in Blackburn is mainly linked to its significant proportion of residents of ISC ethnic origin. There were no cases of HIV infection coexisting with either cutaneous or other forms of tuberculosis. Recommendations for the treatment of cutaneous tuberculosis are made.

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