November 15, 2013
Tropical Ulcer (Jungle Rot)
Tropical ulcers (also commonly known as Jungle Rot) are necrotic painful lesions that are a result from a mixed bacterial infection. These ulcers are common in hot humid tropical or subtropical areas. They are usually found on the lower legs or feet of children and young adults. Typically, the ulcers have a raised border, and a yellowish necrotic base. The ulcers may heal spontaneously, but in many instances extension may occur which results in deep lesions that can penetrate into muscles, tendons and bone. If the so called Jungle Rot goes untreated it can result in much scar tissue and disability. A person can contract this disease or disorder in the skin from having preexisting abrasions or sores that sometimes begin from a mere scratch. The majority of tropical ulcers will occur below the knee of the patient, usually around the ankle. These lesions can sometimes also occur on the arms, but it is more likely to occur on the lower parts of the body. Most of the people who get this ulcer are subjects with poor nutrition which puts them at a higher risk, or people who do not wear socks or proper footwear and clothing. Jungle rot has been described as a disease of the “poor and hungry”. Urbanization of populations could be a factor in the disorder seeing as tropical ulcers are usually a rural problem. Sometimes outbreaks can occur; one was recorded in Tanzania in sugarcane workers cutting the crops while barefoot. Another piece of information on these ulcers is that males are more commonly infected than females. There are not really any symptoms from having a tropical ulcer. You are simply just infected in some way and the ulcer appears. It is initially circular, superficial, very painful, and has purple edges. It will enlarge rapidly across the skin and down into deeper tissues such as the muscle or even the periosteum, which is the fibrous membrane covering the surface of...
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