The skin is the largest organ in the human body and also one of the most sensitive, this means that it is subject to the contraction of several types of diseases that can vary from simple cases and solved in just one day, such as acne, to huge problems, like skin cancer or leprosy, for example.
One of the diseases that can be considered a serious skin problem is leprosy , caused by a bacterium and that leaves the affected person with very specific symptoms. Although it does not offer any huge risk to life specifically, it can have some consequences that disrupt the lives of those who have it and, therefore, proper treatment is required.
In addition to all the risks that this disease can bring to a person’s health, there is also prejudice on the part of those who do not understand very well about the subject. This type of behavior is historical, since people who had leprosy in times past were often seen as incurable patients and who would spread their disease to others, which isolated them and caused this prejudice to increase.
Even today, after many years and the progress of several studies, many people still avoid being close to infected by leprosy, much more due to lack of knowledge than anything else, but we can still say that this is an evil that disease still carries with it.
But to understand clearly all aspects of leprosy, it is necessary to talk about what it is, what it causes and what are the treatments done for this disease.
What is leprosy?
Leprosy, also known as leprosy, is a skin disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae, also called Hansen’s bacillus, the name given to the researcher who identified it, Armauer Hansen.
It causes whitish spots on the skin, but it also affects the peripheral nerves, causing the person to have deformities or even physical disabilities . It is important to mention that leprosy is a contagious disease and transmitted by air or saliva, however, this transmission only occurs when a patient is not yet being treated, that is, after the beginning of it, there is no risk of getting the disease.
This is one of the oldest diseases of mankind , with reports of it in China more than 4,000 years ago. Until a recent past, public health policies determined that the best way to fight the disease is to isolate infected people from others, which ends up increasing the prejudice that already existed.
It was only a little over 30 years ago that the forms of treatment of the disease began to change radically, as well as the campaigns for people to better understand about leprosy and prejudice to decrease . Nowadays, cases of the disease are actually decreasing, as well as the lack of information of many people.
Causes of Leprosy
As we said earlier, leprosy is caused by a bacteria that penetrates the body and settles on the skin and peripheral nerves. There are basically two ways of contracting this bacterium; the first is exposure to environments with inadequate hygienic conditions, which makes its growth conducive.
The second is the contact with the bacteria through another person who has it, since the contamination can be done through the air or saliva, so care in contagion is essential.
How is Leprosy Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of leprosy needs to be made by a dermatologist who can identify by analyzing the spots and also the symptoms. Through these analyzes, a few more tests are done to make sure that the patient is really infected.
The main tests done are sensitivity tests , which will measure things like pain, exposure of the skin to light and touch, and laboratory tests , which may even require a small scraping of a wound for a deeper clinical analysis.
Despite being a disease that brings several harms, leprosy has a cure . However, it is necessary to know that the treatment for the disease is not fast and requires a lot of persistence on the part of the patient, who may end up thinking that he is not having results because he does not have quick results.
Polychemotherapy is perhaps the main form of treatment of the disease, with drugs taken orally. The antibiotics used by polychemotherapy cause the bacteria to leave the body of the infected person little by little and prevent the deformities that leprosy can cause on the skin.
Free Treatment by SUS
It is also because of this type of treatment that the disease is no longer transmissible, about 4 days after the start of antibiotic use. Another important information is that, in Brazil, treatment is offered completely free of charge by the Unified Health System (SUS).
Leprosy and Pregnancy
In addition, there are also certain drugs used in the treatment of leprosy that are contraindicated for pregnant women, so it is always important to pay attention to what you are ingesting when carrying out this type of treatment.
Leprosy is certainly a disease that raises several questions and generates different types of doubts in many people. But it is important to know that, even with long and arduous treatment, the disease is curable.
There are also ways to prevent leprosy , especially avoiding contact with infected people who are not yet undergoing treatment, but it is always important not to let the old prejudice that has always accompanied the disease take over.
After the start of treatment, leprosy is no longer transmissible and the infected person can have contact with all others without any problem.
See also: Black Skin Care
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.