Leprosy..

Leprosy
"Homoeopathy ......heals a larger percentage of cases than any other method of treatment and is beyond doubt safer and more economical."...... Mahatma Gandhi

"Things in nature are words and color in form; a language which expresses itself to those who can read". Constantine Hering


Leprosy
is an infectious disease that has been known since biblical times. It is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation.

The word leprosy originates from Greek word lepi (scales on a fish) also known as Hansen's disease, is mainly a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. It is a bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis and can easily be identified by the skin lesions which is the primary external symptom of it.

World Leprosy Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of January every year. This year it falls on 25 January 2009. The main objective of celebrating the day is to increase public awareness about the disease and bring out a feeling of solidarity towards the people suffering from this discriminating disease.

Leprosy is caused by the organism Mycobacterium leprae. It is not very contagious (difficult to transmit) and has a long incubation period (time before symptoms appear), which makes it difficult to determine where or when the disease was contracted. Children are more susceptible than adults to contracting the disease.

Leprosy has two common forms, tuberculoid and lepromatous, and these have been further subdivided. Both forms produce sores on the skin, but the lepromatous form is most severe, producing large, disfiguring nodules (lumps and bumps).
All forms of the disease eventually cause peripheral neurological damage (nerve damage in the arms and legs) which causes sensory loss in the skin and muscle weakness. People with long-term leprosy may lose the use of their hands or feet due to repeated injury resulting from lack of sensation.

Leprosy is common in many countries worldwide, and in temperate, tropical, and subtropical climates. Effective medications exist, and isolation of victims in "leper colonies" is unnecessary. The emergence of drug-resistant Mycobacterium leprae, as well as increased numbers of cases worldwide, have led to global concern about this disease.


Symptoms
Symptoms include:
  • Skin lesions that are lighter than the normal skin color
  • Lesions have decreased sensation to touch, heat, or pain
  • Lesions do not heal after several weeks to months
  • Numbness or absent sensation in the hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Muscle weakness


Signs and tests:

  • Lepromin skin test can be used to distinguish lepromatous from tuberculoid leprosy, but is not used for diagnosis.
  • Skin scraping examination for acid fast bacteria


Treatments

HYDROCOTYLE-Q
2 drops in a cup of water four times a day gives great relief in several cases.


Prevention
Because leprosy can be cured with medicines, an early diagnosis will often reduce leprosy symptoms and complications. Therefore, while prevention of leprosy is not always possible, especially where leprosy is endemic, control should be possible.

An early diagnosis of help reducing the severeness and complications caused by the disease as leprosy can be cured with medicines. Although the prevention is often difficult especially in the places where it is endemic, control can be possible. People in immediate contact with leprosy patients should examine themselves for the infection. Annual examinations for at least five years should be conducted for such people following their very last contact with the leprosy patient.

World distribution of leprosy, 2003

If the symptoms agree following medicines may be helpful


Iodine
Where there is great induration of the glands, they are very sluggish and torpid ; the patient is subject to wasting diseases, there is wasting of the mammae, ovaries. testicles, etc.

Sulphur  Tendency to eruptions ; defective osseous growth ; open fontanelles ; bone affections ; rickets and curvature of the spine.Appetite voracious, caused by defective assimilation from diseased glands.The child looks like a little old man or woman ; the skin is wrinkled and flabby.

Graphites When the lymphatic glands of the neck and axillae are swollen ; also the inguinal and mesenteric glands, and when there are marked skin symptoms.

Mercurius Enlarged glands ; open fontanelles, especially the posterior ; slow in learning to walk ; imperfect formation of teeth ; feet cold and damp ; perspiration about head offensive and oily.

Calcarea carbonica and Silicea The Calcarea sweat is mostly about the head and is offensive.The Silicea sweat is especially about the feet and is offensive.Calcarea is not as sensitive as Silicea.

In Calcarea carbonica  Dentition is slow. The abdomen is swollen, child is " pot-bellied." The upper lip is swollen. The fontanelles are open. There is emaciation.
The skin is flabby and hangs in folds. Partial sweating is characteristic. Scrofulous affections of the bones.

 Rhus toxicodendron  The skin is red and covered with numerous vesicles.There is great itching and tingling.The skin is swollen and oedematous.It is especially the remedy for vesicular erysipelas.

Apis differ from Rhus toxicodendron Under Apis there is more burning and stinging than under Rhus.There is also more oedema, and in erysipelas it is more especially indicated in the pale variety than in the vesicular variety.

Cantharis Cantharis produces large blisters on the skin, and there is especially a great deal of burning and smarting.The blisters are the characteristic.Burns and scalds.

Croton tiglium The blisters are very small and numerous and itch terribly, and they form pustules which dry into yellow scabs, the characteristics being the confluent vesicles and the itching accompanying.

 Hura Brasiliensis is a similar remedy here.

Ranunculus bulbosus It forms vesicles of the skin, which are filled with serum and burn.They sometimes have a bluish-black appearance, and it is especially indicated when these vesicles form along the course of the nerves, producing a disease known as shingles.Herpes zoster.

Mezereum There are numerous small vesicles with terrible itching, but the characteristic is that the secretion dries quickly, producing thick, high scabs, from which an acrid, thick pus oozes.Crusts and itching are characteristic.

Chininum sulphuricum It's eruption  is called erythematous, and resembles greatly scarlet fever.

Ranunculus sceleratus resembles Cantharis in producing large blisters which burst and leave a raw surface.

Potashes causes Papulous eruption.

Psorinum Herpetic eruptions on the skin, accompanied by a great deal of itching, which is worse as soon as patient gets in bed.The skin is dirty, greasy, and looks as if it had never been washed. Tinea capitis ; oozing of offensive matter.

Sulphur The troubles of the skin are apt to alternate with some internal trouble ; there is the great aggravation from washing, and the more the eruption is scratched the more it itches and burns ; the skin is rough, coarse and measly ; the eruptions are usually pustular, and there is tendency to soreness in the folds of the skin.
Great dryness and heat of the scalp, with. intense itching, and scratching, though it relieves, causes burning ; all the eruptions are greatly aggravated by washing and by being wet ; wetting produces burning ; there may be also an eruption of yellow crusts on the scalp.

Graphites Moist, scabby eruptions, especially of the scalp, face, bends of joints, and in the folds of skin, as between the fingers, behind the ears, in the corners of the mouth or eyes ; they are cracked, bleeding, or oozing a gluey, honey like, thick and tenacious discharge ; the skin may be dry and horny ; there is absence of sweat, the hair is dry and falls out, the nails become loose.Cicatrices are benefited by Graphites.

Lycopodium has dry, scaly eruptions.

Mezereum has thick, hard, scabby and crusty eruptions.

Arsenicum Pains, itching, biting, gnawing and burning.Watery swellings, from puffiness to oedema.Eruptions, papules, nettle rash and pimples.Painful ulcers, burning and sensitive, with offensive discharges.

Oleander The skin is sensitive ; slight friction causes chafing and soreness.It produces eruption on the scalp and back of the ears like a crusta lactea, which oozes a fluid and breeds vermin.

Vinca minor This also produces an eruption which breeds vermin and it produces by the discharge a matted condition of the hair, and there is a very offensive odor arising therefrom.

Eczema of scalp and face. Plica polonica.

Viola tricolor It is useful for crusts on the scalp where the exudation is very copious.It mats the hair like Vinca minor and is distinguished by its urinary symptoms ; urine smells like that of a cat.

Staphisagria Eruption is worse on the occiput, and the characteristic indication is that it itches terribly, but scratching changes the place of the itching. Anacardium and Mezereum have this last symptom, though less marked.

Nux juglans and Arctium lappa are useful for Crusta lactea.

Petroleum Petroleum has an eruption which particularly occurs behind the ears ; it is a pure eczema ; the skin is harsh and dry, and there are deep cracks and fissures which bleed and. suppurate ; the finger tips are cracked and painful and the hands chap.

Petroleum distinguished from Graphites

Graphites pictures more of a herpes and Petroleum more of an eczema.

 Natrum muriaticum It is a dry, scaly eruption, or a herpetic eruption of little watery blisters ; especially when in the bends of the knees ; also, it is a remedy for affections of the scalp accompanied by a falling of the hair and the brows.Eruptions on flexor surfaces.

Kreosote has eruptions on the extensor surfaces.

Apis in urticaria The eruption suddenly appears on the surface of the skin in long pinkish-white welts, with terrible itching.

Urtica urens and Terebinthina are especially useful for urticaria caused by eating shell fish.

 Sepia  It causes yellowish-brown spots on the skin with itching, redness and rawness. It is especially a remedy for ring-worms. Herpetic conditions about knees and ankles.

Tellurium and Calcarea carbonica are useful for ringworms.

Belladonna It causes a bright scarlet redness of the skin, which is extremely sensitive to the touch. It has an erysipelatous condition, and there is a great deal of throbbing, as if the deeper parts of the skin were affected.

Anacardium It is useful where the skin is covered with small blisters, which have an umbilicated center ; they discharge a yellow serum which hardens into crusts with extreme itchiness. It is one of the antidotes to Rhus poisoning. Croton tiglium, Ammonium carbonica. and Grindelia robusta are useful for Rhus poisoning. Anacardium occidentale or the Cashew nut Useful in a vesicular eruption on the skin, which is umbilicated and which itches terribly.

Antimonium crudum. It produces thick, horny callosities on the skin ; it causes deficient growth of the nails, and the eruptions are crusty — the crusts being of a honey yellow character ; the skin cracks easily.

Kalium bromatum produces acne.

Psoriasis - Arsenic, Arsenicum iodide and Rhus toxicodendron are useful in Psoriasis.

Thuja It is a remedy for warts and diseases of the epidermal tissue, such as affections of the nails, etc.

Thuja and Causticum - The Causticum warts have a solid body and are very horny. Thuja warts are fissured, cut up, having a cauliflower appearance.

Arnica It produces a peculiar form of erysipelas — a dermatitis with much itching and soreness, dark blue in color.Boils with great soreness.

Camphor antidotes the skin symptoms of Arnica.

Arnica should be diluted before being applied externally because the tincture is resinous and not only liable to produce the condition above referred to in sensitive skins, but this quality interferes with its easy absorption.

Calcarea The skin is unhealthy ; small wounds suppurate easily ; it is useful for certain forms of eczema of the scalp with general Calcarea symptoms.

Comocladia dentata It has many symptoms on the skin similar to Rhus toxicodendron , but its peculiar symptom is a pain in the right eye as if it were pushed out of the head ; worse near a warm stove.

Dolichos A violent itching all over the body without any visible eruption ; useful in intense itching of jaundice, which is worse at night.

Dulcamara It produces an eruption of large wheals, and it is useful in such be brought on by digestive troubles, with aggravation from cold air.

Hepar sulphur The skin is sensitive to the open air ; inflamed skin ; injuries suppurate easily ; eruptions and ulcerations are sensitive, and bleed easily, and discharge a foul smelling excretion ; around the principal ulcerations there are little pimples.

Hippomane mancinella It produces vesicles on the skin, with an intense erythema ; so irritating is it that water dropping from its leaves on the skin will produce vesicles. It has been utilized in scarlet fever when this intense irritation of the skin exists.

Hydrocotyle asiatica Skin diseases, with an immense amount of desquamation.

Sarsaparilla Sycotic eruptions looking like the roseola of syphilis and itching intolerably ; eruptions exuding an irritating pus ; moist eruption about genitals.Is an anti-sycotic remedy.

Silicea There is a general unhealthy condition of the skin.It suppurates easily and heals with difficulty.In suppurative skin diseases it is our best remedy.

Antimonium tartaricum It produces an eruption of pustules resembling those of smallpox, for which it is a remedy.

Urtica urens Nettle rash, with intolerable itching and burning ; hives from eating shell fish. Also indicated in absence of milk after confinement without apparent cause.

Viola tricolor  - Crusta lactea, with copious exudation which mats the hair, and urine smelling like that of a cat.

Natrum carbonicum and Pix liquida are remedies for eczema of the dorsa of the hands.

 

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