How can I screen myself for leprosy signs (Tamil)

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When you live in an area where leprosy is widespread it is important to regularly seek advice of health workers and doctors at primary health centers. They will screen yourself and your children for early signs of leprosy.

Early detection and treatment of leprosy is very important to avoid long-term damage to the body such as a greater loss of feeling, difficulties in moving fingers and toes, eye damage or malformations of hands and feet. Also, it is important to stop the disease from transmitting to other people.

You can scan the whole body for skin patches, especially the face, arms, back, buttocks and legs. Is there a slowly growing patch on the skin that does not itch or pain? The patch may be slightly pale, with-out a clear edge, or it may be slightly different in color from the surrounding skin. If you find such a patch, show it to a health worker.

You can use a feather or strong thread to test the feeling. Using the tip of the feather or strong thread, gently touch the normal, unchanged skin around the patch, then move forward and touch outside of the patch and then inside. You (or your child) should compare the feeling on the normal, unchanged skin with the outside and inside of the patch. Can you feel the touch in all the areas? And does it feel the same? Test in a similar way to see if your hands and feet have less or no feeling at all. If you or your child has difficulty in feeling the touch or it feels differently, please talk to a health worker.

Look at your hands and feet. If you notice a slight weakness or malformation, talk to a health care professional. For example, if you have difficulty in lifting your fingers upright or touching the base of your little finger with your thumb. You should also talk to a healthcare professional if you have problems lifting your foot or if your toes form claws.

Watch out for painless changes in the body that feel like a thick, maybe painful, thread under the skin, especially under the ears or near skin patches. If they are quite thick, they can easily be seen. If you find any, please talk to a health worker.

  • German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association -