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Pinta (disease)
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A67.
ICD-9 103
DiseasesDB 13270
MeSH D010874

Pinta is a human skin disease endemic to Mexico, Central America, and South America. It is caused by infection with a spirochete, Treponema pallidum carateum, which is morphologically and serologically indistinguishable from the organism that causes syphilis.



Pinta is thought to be transmitted by skin to skin contact (similar to bejel and yaws), and after an incubation period of two to three weeks, produces a raised papule, which enlarges and becomes hyperkeratotic (scaly/flaky). Three to nine months later further thickened and flat lesions (pintids) appear all over the body. These generally resolve, but a proportion of people with pinta will go on to develop late-stage disease, characterised by widespread pigmentary change with a mixture of hyperpigmentation and depigmentation which can be disfiguring.


Diagnosis is usually clinical, but as with yaws and bejel, serological tests for syphilis such as Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) and TPHA will be positive, and the spirochaetes can be seen on dark field microscopy of samples taken from the early papules.


The disease can be treated with penicillin, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol, and can be prevented through contact tracing by public health officials.

See also



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