Leprosy also known as Hansen's disease, is a disease caused by the infection of bacteria Mycobacterium lepromatosis and Mycobacterium leprae. The disease is a granulomatous disease, where the peripheral nerves are damaged and if the disease is not treated, it may cause damage to the skin, bones, eyes, limbs and nerves. A form of leprosy called Tuberculoid Leprosy, affects mostly the mucus membrane and the skin nerves. The skin lesions of leprosy are symptoms of the infection caused by the bacteria.
Some of the long term effects of the disease are
1. Nerve damage
3. Damage to the respiratory tract
4. Loss of sensation in skin
1. Lesions, which last for more than a week and it has a color lighter than the normal color of the skin.
2. Lesions may not heal for many weeks and it can even last for months.
3. Feeling of weakness in the muscles.
4. The patient may lose hair from eyebrows and eyelashes.
5. Skin dryness and pain in feet and hands.
Precaution and treatment - The patient who suffers from leprosy can be treated if the illness is detected in an early stage. If the disease is diagnosed early, the patient can be treated to be non infectious to others and he or she can lead a normal lifestyle. The patient should be given proper care to prevent related health issues. There was no cure for the diseases before 1940, but later the MDT drug was discovered, which is effective against the disease. The vaccination BCG is given against leprosy infection and it is partially helpful in protecting against the infection.
1. Rhizome juice - The paste of rhizome can be applied on the skin to prevent bacterial infection.
2. Chalmoogra Oil - Indians have been using the oil to cure intestinal worms and skin diseases from a longtime and it is also effective in treating the inflammation and infections caused by leprosy bacteria.
3. In ayurveda, Vibhitaki fruit is considered effective in treating the disease.
4. Babchi seeds can be used to make an extract and it can be applied on the skin.
5. Hydrocotyle asiatica also known as Gota Kola, can be used to heal skin infections. There are certain side effects of using gota kola such as liver problem and stomach upset. It is an herbal medicines, which can be taken in diet to reduce inflammation and a tea of gota kola can be taken two to three times in a day.
6. Vibhitaki is effective in curing skin related problem. It is also found in the triphala powder and it can be taken in the form of tea or in powdered form with milk. The peel of vibhitaki is used for the cure.
7. Babhachi seeds can be used to make an extract and tincture oil, which can be used externally.
8. The gum of the tree neem (Azadirachta indica) is also effective in fighting infections of bacteria and it can be taken with water everyday. The neem tree oil is also effective in reduction of body pain caused by the problem.