Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract. Leprosy produces skin sores, nerve damage and muscle weakness. If it isn't treated, it can cause severe disfigurement and significant disability. Symptoms include:
• Skin lesions that are lighter than your normal skin color
• Lesions that have decreased sensation to touch, heat or pain
• Lesions that do not heal after several weeks to months
• Muscle weakness
• Numbness or lack of feeling in the hands, arms, feet and legs
HOW IS LEPROSY DIAGNOSED?
It is important to seek medical help if undergoing Leprosy as it can get severe with time. A General Physician/Homeopath diagnoses Leprosy based on the symptoms and by performing a physical examination and skin biopsy. In a severe case of Leprosy, the doctor may perform a lepromin skin test to determine the form of Leprosy.
HOW IS LEPROSY TREATED?
The treatment is based on medicine usage by the patient. Several antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that cause the disease. These include dapsone, rifampin, clofazimine, fluoroquinolones, macrolides and minocycline. More than 1 antibiotic is often given together. Aspirin, prednisone or thalidomide is used to control inflammation.
DID YOU KNOW?
The condition has been present since ancient times, with a lot of negative stigma being associated with people having this condition. In earlier times, people with this disease were shunned by the society and treated as outcasts. Though contagious, leprosy does not spread easily. It will only spread with repeated contact with the mucous of a person who has untreated leprosy.