Why is it important that I detect early signs and get treatment early (Tamil)

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Early signs of leprosy are local pale or red skin patches which may show a loss of feeling. If you detect the signs early, leprosy is still curable and can disappear quickly. If left untreated, in later stages of the disease the patches will increase in size and nerves under the skin will get thickened, and this nerve damage can cause a greater loss of feeling. This means that the affected person does not feel any pain when he or she is injured. Therefore, that person can no longer automatically protects her- or himself self from cuts, wounds, thorns and other injuries. As the injuries do not hurt, they are often overlooked and cause serious problems in the long run.

For example, if a person with normal feeling goes a long way and gets a wound, it will hurt. So, she or he will either stop walking or limp. But if a person affected by leprosy gets a wound, she or he will feel no pain and will continue to walk until it bursts and becomes inflamed. Still without pain, the wound becomes deeper and can attack the bone. Over time, the bone can be destroyed, and the foot will be deformed. Also, in later stages of the disease, knots on the face, earlobes, elbows, or knees can occur. Some people can lose their eyebrows and the organs can be attacked. This can lead to further problems, such as blindness.

Instead, if you detect the early signs, you can start the treatment before any long-term damage appears such as loss of feeling or difficulty in moving fingers or toes. Usually, you can recover completely, and will have no impairments of the body.

Also, a few days after you have started the treatment, leprosy can’t be transmitted to other people. If you detect the early signs and start the treatment, you don’t need to worry about infecting other people. There is no reason to keep a distance from you or any other person affected by leprosy who is being treated.

  • German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Relief Association - www.dahw.de