What is the prognosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Localized cutaneous leishmaniasis often spontaneously resolves in 3-6 months without therapy, although some infections persist indefinitely. Most individuals respond exceedingly well to therapy: Rapid, complete resolution of the lesion(s), with decreased potential for secondary bacterial infections and diminished scarring, is the rule. This is not to say that the disease is without morbidity, especially in areas where even minimal facial disfiguring can condemn young girls to life without the prospect of marriage or acceptance in society.

Most cases of diffuse cutaneous leishmaniasis, post–kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis, and leishmaniasis recidivans are chronic and resistant to treatment. These forms can be exceedingly disfiguring cosmetically because of the degree of persistent involvement; however, they are associated with low mortality rates.

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