Deformities: Leprosy may cause swelling and bumps or lumps (nodules) to form on the skin, which may be disfiguring, especially when the face is affected.
Nerve damage may cause muscle weakness, which may also lead to deformities. When the muscles become weak, the fingers may have a claw-like appearance, and the patient may have what is called a "drop-foot deformity." This means the patient is unable to flex the foot.
Eye damage: Leprosy may damage the nerves surrounding the eyes. As a result, the eyes are unable to blink properly. If blinking is impaired, the eyes become dry and may also become infected. If left untreated, permanent eye damage or blindness may result.
Inflammation: Leprosy may trigger the immune system to launch an attack against the disease-causing bacteria. This response may lead to inflammation in many parts of the body, including the skin, peripheral nerves, eyes, and sometimes, the lymph nodes, joints, kidneys, liver, eyes, and testes. Severe inflammation may permanently damage the affected organs and lead to conditions such as erectile dysfunction. Patients may also develop fevers.
Nasal passageway: If left untreated, leprosy may damage the nasal passages. Patients may experience a chronically stuffy nose and decreased quality of life. Without treatment, the inside of the nose may become damaged and scarred. In rare cases, this may lead to complete collapse of the nose.
Nerve damage: Patients who do not receive prompt treatment may suffer from permanent peripheral nerve damage. When the peripheral nerves are damaged, a patient's ability to feel sensations, including pain and temperature, are decreased. As a result, patients have an increased risk of unknowingly hurting themselves. They may burn or cut the skin without realizing the severity of the condition because they have minimal or no feeling in some areas of the body.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.