Pinta overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Pinta is a human skin disease endemic to Mexico, Central America, and South America. It is caused by infection with a spirochete, Treponema carateum, which is morphologically and serologically indistinguishable from the organism that causes syphilis. Pinta initially presents as a raised papule, followed by a generalized eruption of flat, reddened areas, and is followed by the development of bluish coloration and a subsequent loss of pigmentation. Unlike syphilis, it is transmitted by nonsexual skin contact, often between children living in conditions of poor hygiene. The disease can be treated with penicillin, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol, and can be prevented through contact tracing by public health officials.


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