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Leprosy - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Mycobacterium leprae is a bacterium which causes a progressive, chronic bacterial infection called leprosy. The nerves in the nose’s lining, the upper respiratory tract and in the extremities get affected by it. Leprosy produces nerve damage, muscle weakness and skin sores. If not treated, it may result in significant disability and severe disfigurement. Leprosy is quite common in lots of countries, especially those having subtropical or tropical climates. Leprosy has been classified in three different ways. The first kind recognizes two different leprosy types: lepromatous and tuberculoid. The immune response of a person towards the disease, dictates the kind of leprosy. Only few skin sores show and there is good immune response in people having tuberculoid leprosy. The disease isn’t severe and is not highly contagious. In those having lepromatous leprosy, immune response isn’t high and the nerves, skin and few other organs are affected. Nodules and wide spread lesions are found. It is highly contagious. Another way of classifying it is dependent on the number of skin areas affected and the type. Paucibacillary is the first type which has five or lesser lesions without any bacteria detection in the samples taken from the skin. Multibacillary is the second category which has higher than five lesions, bacteria gets detected in the skin’s smear or even both. An infected individual’s mucus can lead to the spread of leprosy. This usually happens when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. The disease is not highly contagious. Close contact repeatedly with someone who hasn’t been treated can cause transmission of leprosy. The bacteria causing leprosy multiply slowly over a long period of time. The disease can incubate for over five years. Symptoms might not show up till 20 years. The doctor can carry out a physical examination to search for symptoms and telltale signs of the disease. They also carry out scraping or skin biopsy. The doctor removes a small part of the skin and sends the sample to the lab for testing. They might even conduct lepromin test of the skin for determining the kind of leprosy. The doctor injects a tiny amount of leprosy inducing bacteria in the skin, usually in the upper part of the fore arm. People having borderline tuberculoid or tuberculoid leprosy have irritation at the site of injection. The World Health Organization has come up with a multiple drug therapy for curing all kinds of leprosy. It is available worldwide for free of cost. Quite a few antibiotics are also available for killing the leprosy causing bacteria. Your doctor might prescribe multiple antibiotics at once.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Spread through the air or contaminated surfaces
Pain in the eyes or foot. Loss of colour, lumps, small bump, ulcers, or redness on the skin. Physical deformity. Reduced sensation and numbness.

Popular Health Tips

Few Things You Need To Know About Anetoderma!

Dr. Rupa Shah 94% (10 ratings)
Dermatologist, Ahmedabad
Few Things You Need To Know About Anetoderma!
Healthy skin is one that stays taut and firm. Anetoderma is a rare benign condition where the dermis loses elastic tissue. This results in the formation of a depression in the skin or flaccid skin. This condition is also known as macular atrophy, anetoderma maculosa, and atrophia maculosa cutis. Anetoderma is not contagious. Women are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition than men. It usually affects people in their late teens and early twenties. Premature babies born with a very low birth weight are also susceptible to this condition. In rare cases, it can run in the family and affect identical twins. Depending on how it is triggered, there are two types of Anetoderma; primary and secondary. Both forms of this condition may be associated with systemic diseases that include infections like leprosy, HIV and lyme disease, inflammatory or autoimmune conditions and medications like penicillamine. Primary Anetoderma: This is marked by the spontaneous eruptions of lesions on the skin without any other symptoms. The cause for primary anetoderma has not yet been determined. The suggested causes include antiphospholipid antibodies, immunological abnormalities and reduced production of elastin. It has also been associated with cataract, bone calcifications, myocardial infarction and blegvad-haxthausen syndrome Secondary Anetoderma: In this case, atrophic lesions are preceded by inflammatory or autoimmune processes. This usually occurs at the site of skin conditions such as chicken pox, syphilis, tumours, acne, infantile haemangioma etc. Both types of anetoderma can occur simultaneously. The main symptoms of primary and secondary anetoderma are: Small, round or oval lesions on the upper arms, upper body and thighs. These lesions rarely occur on the neck, face, palms and soles. They may be isolated to grouped together to give a patchy appearance. 1. Atrophic papules 2. Loss of elastic tissue in the skin 3. Fine, diffused wrinkling Till date, there is no known cure for this disease. If the number of lesions is limited the doctor may look at surgical excision as an option. Different forms of medication have been experimented with, but have not given consistent results. Some of the types of medication prescribed include aspirin, penicillin, vitamin E, niacin, topical epsilon-aminocaproic acid and oral colchicines. Some cases have also shown improvement on being treated with carbon dioxide fractional lasers and pulsed dye lasers. In cases of secondary anetoderma, successfully identifying and curing the underlying condition can clear up the lesions as well.
2761 people found this helpful

Common Reasons That Drive People To Visit Their Dermatologist!

Dr. Ravindranath Reddy 90% (322 ratings)
Diploma in Medical Cosmetology, MBBS
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Common Reasons That Drive People To Visit Their Dermatologist!
A dermatologist is a medical professional who is trained to treat disorders pertaining to skin, hair and nails and genital diseases. Reddened skin, irritation, abnormal patches, blemishes on the skin etc. are the conditions affecting most people at some point of their lives. Hair loss, irritation on the scalp, dandruff, brittle nails are common as well and it is important to see a dermatologist if such conditions persist to prevent any major issue and for the overall well-being of an individual. Here are some very common reasons that drive people to visit their dermatologist. 1. Acne - Acne is the most common skin woe among teenagers and it affects adults as well. Although people tend to self- medicate or use home remedies for treating acne, it is important to recognize its cause. If acne is one's constant reason of embarrassment, it's time to see a professional and get some customized medication. 2. Sun spots or mole - Overexposure to the sun can cause varied skin conditions among which sunspots and sunburns are most commonly seen. If the exposed area develops irritation and red patches, one should seek professional help. An early examination can detect adverse issues like skin cancer. Moles are also very common, some people have moles since birth, and some develop new ones later in life. It is a cause of concern if the mole changes size, color or if it bleeds scabs or pains. 3. Eczema - Eczema is a broad term used to describe certain chronic conditions of the skin. Eczema causes the skin to become red, itchy, dry and swollen. It leads to great discomfort and distress often ruining one's sleep and mental peace. Atopic Dermatitis is a most common form of Eczema usually seen in children. Proper treatment can cause it to subside. If you observe any symptoms of eczema, a visit to the dermatologist is a must. 4. Patches of skin lighter or darker than the normal skin tone - Often some areas of the skin change color and they are not always the result of sun exposure because sometimes the skin can also become lighter. These may be symptoms serious diseases like leprosy or even cutaneous lymphoma, a kind of cancer or a disorder in the connective tissue. A thorough examination will reveal its cause and treatment can be opted for, which will require a visit to a dermatologist. 5. Hair loss - Hair loss may be due to various reasons and a dermatologist is best to treat it. 6. Psoriasis - It is an autoimmune skin disease which causes red scaly rashes on the body. It is important to diagnose and treat it effectively and one should visit a dermatologist for the same. 7. Nail problems - Apart from fungal infection, there are many other conditions which affect nails and the only dermatologist can identify it. So if you have any issues related to nail, consult a dermatologist. 8. Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Unprotected sexual intercourse can predispose one to many sexually transmitted diseases apart from HIV, for example, genital herpes, molluscum, genital warts etc and a dermatologist is well trained for diagnosis and treatment of the same.
5351 people found this helpful

Infections - Most Common Types of Them!

Dr. Purvi C Shah 89% (24 ratings)
MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy, MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Infections - Most Common Types of Them!
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is hence susceptible to a great number of infections. Here are a few skin infections arranged according to the causative organism: Bacterial Infections Leprosy: Mycobacterium leprae is the bacterium which spreads slowly and causes leprosy. It is also called Hansen s disease. Carbuncles: It is a swollen, painful and red boil aggregation which is joined underneath the skin. Cellulitis: It is a common skin infliction that spreads underneath the skin to the adjoining soft tissues. It happens due to the bacteria entering the skin through a cut or a wound. Boils: An infected oil gland or hair follicle may lead to a boil. The area affected turns red and soon, a lump forms at the same site. Impetigo: It is extremely contagious and can occur on any body part. Exposed areas of the skin are more prone to this bacterial infection. Fungal Infections Ringworm: Ringworm is a misnomer as it is caused by dermatophytes which are fungi. It s also called tinea. Candidiasis: Certain types of yeast cause candidiasis. The causative yeast is present on everybody s body surface. Sporotrichosis: This fungal infection is common among gardeners and farmers as the mould which causes sporotrichosis can be found on soil, hay and plants. Nail fungal infections: When fungus spreads to the nails it might lead to fungal nail infections. Athlete s Foot: It s a very common infection that can develop in non-athletes as well. This fungal infection can happen to men, women, girls and boys of every age group. Viral Infections Shingles: Herpes zoster or shingles is caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus. Chickenpox: Red, itchy rash caused by the varicella virus is an infectious disease that affects a great majority of children. Chickenpox usually happens once in a lifetime as the body has antibodies to protect itself from a repeat infection. Molluscum Contagiosum: It is a viral infection that leads to multiple or singular raised bumps on the skin. These bumps are called papules and resemble pearls.
2599 people found this helpful

Michael Jackson Vitiligo - Know All About It!

Dr. Seema Bali 89% (259 ratings)
MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Ghaziabad
Michael Jackson Vitiligo - Know All About It!
I have successfully treated highest number of Leucoderma and Vitiligo patients in India since past 32 years. Homoeopathy along with holistic modes has been a miraculous aid in giving the results. In this article, I bring to you the topic of a famous personality and his confrontation with Vitiligo. Michael Jackson songs, the king of pop, thriller, moonwalk getting nostalgic? We all remember Michael Jackson as the king of pop, he stirred up the ear with his over the top songs and breathtaking dance moves! His death shook the world and the music industry at large. He always had been the talk of the town not only for his art but for his appearance. Michael Jackson skin color raised controversies and questions among fans and fellow artists. He was accused of skin bleaching and using various techniques to turn white because he didn t like his skin color. However he shunned these allegations by admitting to having Vitiligo on Oprah Winfrey s show. Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disorder which causes loss of pigment in the skin. The melanin production capacity of the skin gets dysfunctional. This causes white patches on skin which can spread like it did on Michael Jackson. Due to less awareness of Vitiligo back then everyone believed that Michael Jackson was making up a story to cover the allegations of skin bleaching. Only 2% of the world s population suffers from Vitiligo and Jackson had a paternal history of the disease which was dominant in his case. Vitiligo began on Michael Jackson s skin soon after Thriller album, it started off as white dots on his hands skin which he covered with Billie Jean Gloves. But, in no time it spread over his full hand and body, he initially tried to cover it with full coverage makeup but it did him no good as patches begin to grow. When the disease went out of control, he opened up about his condition. Though harmless otherwise these white patches become a cause of embarrassment and low self esteem in highly pigmented individuals like Michael Jackson himself. He was born a black american but in his adulthood his skin turned white. He fell a prey to innumerous allegations and racist comments because of the lack of knowledge among the people. Michael Jackson Vitiligo was confirmed in a biopsy report and was made public thus proving he really did have vitiligo. Who all can have Vitiligo? Vitiligo rarely shows familial history but this factor cannot be ruled out. It can affect people of any age group, race or sex. Vitiligo is generally more prominent in countries like India, Egypt and other tropical countries. Many cases have seen its onset after menopause, at 15 years of age, or as early as the age of 5. Vitiligo is non infectious and non-contagious and cannot spread with touch. It has no relationship to leprosy, however there can be differential diagnosis of seeing white patches on skin. What can cause Vitiligo? Exact causes of vitiligo have not been established yet but it can be due to gastrointestinal disorder like chronic amoebiasis, chronic dyspepsia and intestinal worms may be additional factors. Trauma or local irritation from wearing tight blouses and clothes can also produce Vitiligo in individuals predisposed to it. Acute stress may be followed by fast spreading vitiligo. Endocrine disorders or nutritional disorders can also be revolving cause for Vitiligo.Not infrequently it has been seen vitiligo appearing after use of broad-spectrum antibiotics esp chloramphenicol and streptomycin. How to treat Vitiligo? In Michael Jackson s case he matched his unaffected skin color with the vitiligo skin color by going a shade lighter which made him appear completely white. However with the advancement over years it is possible to treat vitiligo. For stationary and small patches there are temporary options to dye the white patch into the skin color. It is done by doing a patch test and seeing which color is absorbed by the skin. Whereas for a permanent long time solution it is important to treat this condition constitutionally by promoting the production of melanin internally by medicines. Some local applications and frequent sun exposure on the patches can also help in repigmentation. Avoid eating food from animal sources. It is extremely important to keep your skin and yourself hydrated as Vitiligo paired up with other disorders like diabetes can cause dehydration very soon. Avoid wearing tight clothes and prevent trauma on skin. Do not stress as it can also contribute in producing vitiligo. Apply pure ghee with turmeric on white patches and take sun exposure. At Valeda, you can avail a holistic treatment to cure Vitiligo permanently by constitutional medicines and total wellness using techniques of acupuncture that will strengthen your immune system and also treat your Vitiligo Skin. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Homeopath.
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How To Treat Leprosy With Homeopathy?

Dr. Inderjeet Nanda 89% (74 ratings)
Homeopath, Dehradun
How To Treat Leprosy With Homeopathy?
Once feared to be highly contagious and fatal, leprosy is today a disease that can be treated and even cured. Leprosy or Hansen s disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae and affects the peripheral nervous system and skin. Leprosy has been categorized into two types tuberculoid and lepromatous with the latter being more severe. Both these categories have been further subdivided into more categories. Skin lesions are the most prominent symptom of leprosy. If left untreated, leprosy can cause permanent damage to the skin, nervous system, limbs and eyes. An early diagnosis of this disease makes treatment easier. Apart from antibiotics, homeopathic medicines are also effective when it comes to treating leprosy. Homeopathy is a holistic form of treatment that addresses not only the symptoms of the disease, but also the root cause of the infection. One of the biggest advantages of homeopathy is that it has negligible side effects. When it comes to leprosy, homeopathy can be used to reduce inflammation and pain, drain sores and promote suppuration. It can also strengthen the immune system to prevent recurrent sores and boils. Some of the homeopathic remedies that may be helpful are: Sulphur: If the patient has a tendency to suffer from eruptions, curvature of the spine, wrinkled and flabby skin and has a voracious appetite triggered by diseased glands, sulphur is effective. The symptoms may also be aggravated by washing and the affected area may itch more on scratching. There is a tendency for the folds of the skin to be sore. Graphites: If the patient has swollen lymph glands, mesenteric glands and prominent skin sores, this medicine is useful. It also treats moist eruptions that bleed or ooze tenacious discharge before turning into scabs on the scalp, face, joints and in the folds of the skin. The patient may experience an absence of sweat and hair fall. Calcarea Carbonica and Silicea: The combination of these two medicines help in treating a patient who suffers from a swollen abdomen and has open fontanelles. Excessive sweating is another symptom treated by Calcarea carbonica and Silicea. Rhus Toxicodendron: This is prescribed in cases where the patient has reddish skin that is covered with vesicles and suffers from intense itchiness. Cantharis: It is used when the patient has large blisters on the skin accompanied by intense burning. The blisters may look like typical burn blisters. Croton Tiglium: It is used to treat small blisters that itch terribly and form pustules that dry into yellowish scabs. Although homeopathy is considered safe and free from side effects, it should not be used to self-medicate.
1 person found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Is the leprosy are a viral disease? What ate the common symptoms of it & what precautions it must be taken to avoid that?

Kaya Skin Clinic 90% (334 ratings)
Dermatology Backed Expert Skin & Hair Care Solution
Dermatologist, Nashik
Dear Lybrate user Leprosy is caused by Mycobacterium leprae.. It can present with light coloured patches with loss of sensation or red raised lesions over body.. Treatment for 12 months is needed to cure the disease..
1 person found this helpful

I want to know what is the best diet nutrition for leprosy patient and what is the side effect of dapsone and hansepran tablet.

Dr. Rajesh Jain 91% (12525 ratings)
General Physician, Jalgaon
Please Take plenty of water Take salads and fruits more Take high protein diet, avoiding non beg Avoid fish, rice, brinjals There are less side effects of dapsone and hensepran.
1 person found this helpful
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