Man, 65, discovers his ‘painful rash’ is actually much more sinister

A MAN suffering from a painful rash on his hands and elbows was given a shock diagnosis after going to a dermatology clinic.

The 65-year-old had red patches on his skin which looked similar to skin condition psoriasis.

After attending a clinic in Mannheim, Germany, the man was diagnosed with leukemia cutis.

This is a rare condition in which leukaemia cells are found in the skin tissue.

It's very rare and happens in around three per cent of leukaemia cases and will usually show up on the legs, followed by arms, back, chest, scalp, and face.

Other symptoms of leukaemia is adults include fever or chills, persistent fatigue, weakness and frequent or severe infections.

The patient that presented in Germany had none of these symptoms and just the rash on his hands and elbows.

Tests done at the hospital revealed that the man had a high white-cell count and a low platelet count.

The most common signs of leukaemia in adults

While there are many different types of leukaemia, there are some common signs to look out for.

Common signs of leukaemia in adults include:

  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Fever or chills
  • Persistent fatigue, weakness
  • Tiny red spots on your skin
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Consistent nosebleeds

You should see a doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.

Writing in the New England Medical Journal, the experts said: "A diagnosis of leukemia cutis was made, and the patient was urgently referred to the oncology clinic.

"The patient received a diagnosis of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and underwent stem-cell transplantation.

"Two weeks after the transplantation, the patient’s skin changes had resolved, and the cancer has been in remission since."

According to Leukaemia Care UK leukaemia cutis can vary in individual patients.

They explained: "Most lesions seen in leukaemia patients are not leukaemia cutis. In fact, most lesions (40 per cent) seen in leukaemia patients are caused by other complications of leukaemia.

"Different types of bruising (petechiae, purpura, ecchymoses) or infections such as thrush or herpes are more likely to be responsible for lesions in these patients.

"The toxicity of some of the treatments for leukaemia themselves can also sometimes cause lesions (e.g chemotherapy)."

They explained that in most cases of leukaemia cutis, the patient has already been diagnosed with leukaemia.

In just 7 per cent of cases of leukaemia cutis, it is the first symptom of a blood cancer.

This is sometimes referred to as “aleukaemic leukaemia cutis”, the experts said.

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