Monday, August 03, 2020

Sign and symptoms of leprosy disease

This disease is a slowly developing, progressive disease that damages the skin and nervous system.

Leprosy is a disease caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. These bacteria attack nerves in the hands, feet and face, causing numbness and loss of sensation to those parts of the body. It can also affect the nose and the eyes.

It is classified into tuberculoid leprosy (TT), lepromatous leprosy (LL), borderline leprosy, and indeterminate leprosy (IL), according to the cellular immunity against M. leprae.

Early signs include discoloration or light patches on the skin with loss of sensation. Hypopigmented or erythematous macules are present in many newly diagnosed leprosy patients, and are often the first clinical sign of the disease. Many other conditions produce similar lesions, however. Therefore, to be specific for leprosy, the lesions must be accompanied by definite loss of sensation.

The longer the delay between the appearance of the first symptoms of leprosy and the start of treatment, the more likely nerve damage will occur. Untreated leprosy can cause progressive and permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes.

When nerves in the arm are affected, part of the hand becomes numb and small muscles become paralyzed, leading to curling of the fingers and thumb.

When leprosy attacks nerves in the legs, it interrupts communication of sensation to the feet. As a result, the person does not feel pain, and can have injuries to their hands and feet without realizing it. The damaged nerves also lead to the skin peeling off, and the tissue beneath the skin is exposed.
Sign and symptoms of leprosy disease

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