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Leprosy: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


It is a chronic and progressive bacterial infection. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.

Leprosy is more common in countries with tropical and subtropical climates. Leprosy is one of the oldest known diseases. There are less than 100 thousand cases in India every year.[1]

- Not self-treatable
- Not self-diagnosable
- Laboratory tests and imaging may be required
- Long-term: Persists for years


Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease. The main cause of this disorder is the bacterium known as Mycobacterium. Other possible reasons are as follows:
- Contact with the person already suffering from leprosy.
- Spreads through contact with the mucosal secretions of a person with the infection.

Types of leprosy
This disorder is classified in three ways:
1. Tuberculoid leprosy, lepromatous leprosy, and borderline leprosy

2. WHO classification:
- Paucibacillary
- Multibacillary

3. Ridley-Jopling system
- Tuberculoid leprosy
- Borderline tuberculoid leprosy
- Mid-borderline leprosy
- Borderline lepromatous leprosy
- Lepromatous leprosy


Self-diagnosable: Muscle weakness, numbness in body parts such as hands, feet, arms, and legs
Also common: Skin lesions or light colored or red patches
People may experience: Decreased sensation to touch and pain

Diagnosis and Treatment

- A physical examination to look for the signs and symptoms is done by the doctor.
- In addition, a skin biopsy is required for laboratory testing to confirm the diagnosis.
- Lepromin skin test might be suggested to identify the type of leprosy.


Medication: Antibiotics are used to cure leprosy. Antibiotics kill the bacteria causing leprosy. More than one antibiotic might be suggested, and multi-drug therapy can be used to cure all types of leprosy. The doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications.

Specialists: For further concern, consult a doctor or a physician. At mfine, you will receive a holistic treatment plan for optimum health.

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