What is Leprosy?

Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease (HD). It is a disease that causes severe, scarring skin sores and nerve damage in the limbs. This disease has affected people on every continent. It is actually not that infectious but it spreads when a healthy person comes in regular and close contact with mouse droplets and Lepra patients. Children get more affected by this disease than adults. Approximately 180000 people all over the world get infected with leprosy.


Types of Leprosy

There are six types of Leprosy and are mainly classified based on the severity of symptoms:

  1. Intermediate Leprosy: It is the earliest stage of Leprosy. In this stage, patients suffer from flat lesions which may heal by themselves without progressing in case of strong immunity.
  2. Tuberculoid Lepra: It is a mild and less serious type of Leprosy. People suffering from this disease have some patches of flat and pale-colored skin and have no sensation in the affected area because of nerve damage. This is less infectious than other forms. This infection heals on its own, or it can persist and progress to a more severe form.
  3. Borderline tuberculoid Leprosy: The symptoms at this stage are quite similar to the tuberculoid but the infections may be quite smaller and more in number which may continue and revert to tuberculoid, or any other advanced form.
  4. Mid-borderline Lepra: The sign and symptoms of this stage are quite similar to Borderline tuberculoid leprosy. This includes reddish plaques with numbness which may regress or progress to another form.
  5. Borderline Leprosy: This type of Lepra is a cutaneous skin condition and the main symptoms include multiple wounds or scars including plaques, flat, raised bumps that may continue or regress.
  6. Lepromatous Leprosy: It is considered a more severe type of disease with many lesions with bacteria. The affected region is full of bumps, numbness, muscle weakness, and rashes. Other symptoms include limb weakness, hair loss, and other body parts such as kidneys, nose, and male reproductive system are also affected. It is more infectious than tuberculoid leprosy which never regresses.

Symptoms of Lepra

The main symptoms of Lepra include:

  • muscle weakness
  • numbness in the hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • skin lesions

The skin lesions result in decreased sensation to touch, temperature, or pain. They don’t heal, even after several weeks. They’re lighter than your normal skin tone or they may be reddened from inflammation.

Complications of Lepra

  • Blindness.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Disfiguration of the face.
  • Infertility and Erectile dysfunction in men.
  • Permanent damage to the nerves within the brain.
  • Permanent damage to the nose from the inside results in nose bleeding.

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