Some patients develop post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) after they have been treated for the systemic infection kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis). It has been an enigma why the parasites cause skin symptoms after the patients have been successfully treated for the systemic disease. We report here that PKDL development can be predicted before treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, and that IL-10 is involved in the pathogenesis. Before treatment of visceral leishmaniasis, Leishmania parasites were present in skin which appeared normal on all patients. However, IL-10 was detected in the keratinocytes and/or sweat glands of all patients who later developed PKDL (group 1) and not in any of the patients who did not develop PKDL (group 2). Furthermore, the levels of IL-10 in plasma as well as in peripheral blood mononuclear cell culture supernatants were higher in group 1 than in group 2.