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Granuloma inguinale

  • Alternative Names



    Symptoms can occur between 1 to 12 weeks after coming in contact with the bacteria that causes the disease.

    • About half of infected men and women have lesions in the anal area.
    • Small, beefy-red bumps appear on the genitals or around the anus.
    • The skin gradually wears away, and the bumps turn into raised, beefy-red, velvety nodules called granulation tissue. They are usually painless, but bleed easily if injured.
    • The disease slowly spreads and destroys genital tissue.
    • Tissue damage may spread to the area where the legs meet the torso. This area is called the inguinal folds.
    • Genitals and surrounding skin has a loss of skin color.

    In its early stages, it may be difficult to tell the difference between granuloma inguinale and chancroid.

    In the later stages, granuloma inguinale may look like advanced genital cancers, lymphogranuloma venereum, and anogenital cutaneous amebiasis.

    Signs and tests

    Granuloma inguinale should be considered if genital lesions have been present for a long time and have been spreading.

    Tests that may be done include:

    • Scrapings or punch biopsy of lesion
    • Culture of tissue sample (difficult to do and not routinely available)

    Laboratory tests, such as those used to detect syphilis, are available only on a research basis for diagnosing granuloma inguinale.