Doctor's Notes on Leprosy (Hansen's Disease)
Leprosy, also called Hansen's disease, is a chronic infectious disease that causes severe disfiguring sores on the skin, nerve damage in the peripheral nerves of the arms and legs, and damage to the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy can permanently damage these structures, resulting in disfigurement and disability. Leprosy is a curable disease and in the year 2000, global elimination of leprosy was achieved.
Symptoms of leprosy vary depending on the individual's immune response and the number of skin lesions and nerve involvement and may include flat or raised skin lesions or nodules; single or multiple skin lesions that are often found on cooler parts of the body such as the face, buttocks, and extremities; thickening of the skin and peripheral nerves; skin ulcerations; loss of sensation in peripheral nerves; muscle weakness (for example, clawed hand deformities, contractures, and foot drop); hoarseness; sexual dysfunction or sterility in men when testicles are affected; eye pain, eye redness, inability to close the eyelids, corneal ulcers, and blindness; loss of eyebrows and eyelashes; and destruction of nasal cartilage.
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Corneal UlcerThe cornea, which is the bulbous, transparent structure that encloses the pupil and iris of the eye, can sometimes develop sores called corneal ulcers. Often, a corneal ulcer may be caused by bacteria, in which case, antibiotics are used for treatment. Eyedrops and oral medications may be prescribed to ease pain.
Eye PainEye pain has many causes, signs, symptoms, and treatments. It's also described as pain behind the eye, eye socket pain, or shooting pain in the eye. Headaches and sinusitis can be causes of eye pain.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenFever is defined as a rectal temperature over 100.4 F or 38 C. Fever isn't life-threatening unless it is persistently high - greater than a 107 F rectal temperature. Fever is usually caused by an infection. Treatment focuses on controlling the temperature, preventing dehydration, and monitoring for serious illness.
Joint PainJoint pain can be caused by injury or disease affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Pain also occurs with joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection. Joint pain symptoms can be associated with local warmth, swelling, and tenderness. Treatment depends on the cause and can include rest, cold applications, medications, physical therapy, or surgery.
Rash (Causes, Types, and Cures)A rash is a visible skin outbreak. Examples of noninfectious rashes include eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, hives, and allergic dermatitis. Types of infectious rashes include ringworm, impetigo, scabies, herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. Rashes may be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Treatment depends upon the type of rash.
Skin BiopsyA skin biopsy is a test in which a doctor cuts a small sample of a patient's skin to diagnose a wide range of conditions, including bacterial or fungal infections, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and other skin problems.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.