A man suffering from a nasty skin rash on his hands and elbows that looked like psoriasis found that it was actually a form of leukaemia.
The 65-year-old went to a dermatologist in Mannheim, Germany, due to the red patches that had developed on the back of his hands and arms and he later found the worrying diagnosis that it was leukaemia cutis.
Tests done at the hospital showed that he had a high white-cell count along with a low number of platelets, it is reported.
The case was published in the New England Medical Journal where it said that a diagnosis of leukaemia cutis was made.
While extremely rare, the condition means that the leukaemia cells are in the skin tissue.
It is found to happen in around three percent of leukaemia cases where the rash has been found on skin including the arms, back or face.
Other leukaemia symptoms include fever, tiredness and susceptibility to infections.
But in the case of the 65-year-old in Germany, he only had the rash on his hands and elbow.
The New England Medical Journal stated: “A diagnosis of leukemia cutis was made, and the patient was urgently referred to the oncology clinic.
“The patient received a diagnosis of chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia and underwent stem-cell transplantation.
“Two weeks after the transplantation, the patient’s skin changes had resolved, and the cancer has been in remission since.”
Leukaemia Care UK said that usually patients who have the cancer and find rashes do not have this particular condition.
It stated: “Leukaemia cutis is very rare, occurring in only about three percent of total cases of leukaemia.
“With this in mind, it is unsurprising that most lesions seen in leukaemia patients are not leukaemia cutis.
“In fact, most lesions (40%) seen in leukaemia patients are caused by other complications of leukaemia.”
It continued: “In the rare occasion that leukaemia cutis occurs, the patient will normally have already been diagnosed with leukaemia.
“However, in seven percent of cases of leukaemia cutis, the skin lesion is the very first symptom of a blood cancer. This is sometimes referred to as “aleukaemic leukaemia cutis.”