Leprosy or the Hansen’s disease is a chronic disease which is caused by a specific bacterium known as Mayo-bacterium leprae. It has been found through research and studies that Leprosy is curable through various treatments and drugs available in the market now. World Health Organization has been providing all the basic treatments and drugs to the patients of leprosy since 1995 without any charges. Some people think that Leprosy transfers from person to person due to various environmental factors or it can be transmitted through droplets from the respiratory tract. Leprosy patients need care and proper treatment whereas people who are living with an infected but untreated patient are more prone to get this disease. It is noticeable to mention that leprosy cannot be transmitted through sexual intercourse therefore, it is not a STD.
There are two types of leprosy known as tuberculoid leprosy and lepromatous leprosy. It takes more than three to five years for leprosy to appear whereas; the incubation period of leprosy can last from six months or more. Tuberculoid leprosy is the milder type of leprosy and it should be thoroughly examined by the doctor if skin becomes dry with red patches with severe pain, eye blindness, enlargement of nerves around the knee area or loss of toes and fingers occur. Consult an expert doctor immediately for the treatment because these are the early signs of tuberculoid leprosy. Early treatment will save the patient from the loss of toes and fingers though it doesn’t happen to all the patients of leprosy.
The other type of leprosy, Lepromatous leprosy is the severe type of the disease. Immediate action should be taken on the early symptoms of this type because it could result in severe damages to the body. The early symptoms for this type are blindness, bleeding from the nose, thickening of the skin, loss or thinning of eyelashes, skin rashes on various parts of the body and loss of the fingers and toes.
Medical treatment can benefit the patients. Today antibiotics are considered as the best treatment that can be provided to the patients of leprosy. Multi-drug treatment or MDT is the primary treatment to cure leprosy. Dapsone was the first drug used for the treatment of leprosy but the bacteria developed resistance against this drug. Today Dapsone is only used with the combination of antibiotics. Another drug known as Rifampicin has been found very useful for the treatment. It has no side-effects and a single dose of Rifampicin can kill 99.9% of bacteria. Clofazimine works by binding itself into the DNA of bacterium which prevents it from further growth. Though, this drug has been found very useful for the treatment of leprosy but it can show some anti-inflammatory properties.
It is important to cure Leprosy immediately because with the passage of time, this could turn into a more serious disease. One should consult the doctor when the early symptoms of leprosy appear because it would make the treatment easier both for the patient and the doctor.