Doctors are Shocked to Discover Patient’s Skin Condition is Leprosy

By: Riley Brown | Last updated: Nov 01, 2023

After suffering from a severe rash all over his body, a man in his 20s went to the doctor to seek treatment. The unsightly rash stumped a dermatologist, who could not provide him with a diagnosis. But when his skin sample was sent to a lab to undergo testing, it was revealed that he actually had a form of leprosy. The man’s condition is quite rare, as leprosy is widely considered to be a ‘medieval disease’.

What Is Leprosy?

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Source: Bicycle Health

Also known as Hansen’s disease, leprosy is a condition brought on by bacteria emanating from the nose and mouth. Leprosy dates back to biblical times, and medieval lepers were often considered outcasts by society due to their unsightly exterior. Thanks to modern medicine, leprosy is virtually non-existent in most parts of the world, but it is still considered an epidemic in certain parts of the world.

He Likely Contracted Leprosy Outside of The U.S.

Though he was residing in Texas, the man is believed to have contracted leprosy in Samoa four years ago, as symptoms can take years to become noticeable . He was living in Samoa until 2019, where leprosy is still transmitted at an epidemic level.

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Source: Health Affairs

If left untreated, leprosy can cause extreme harm in the form of nerve damage, blindness, and even death. Contracting leprosy in the U.S. in current times is incredibly rare

Beyond the Acute Body Rash, He Experienced Other Scary Symptoms

While his irritated and swollen skin was already a cause for concern, the unidentified man also endured a series of painful ailments that were signs of leprosy. His fingers started to bend in such an uncomfortable way that they resembled an animal’s claw.

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Source: News Medical

He also experienced numbness and tingling in parts of his body for nearly three months before understanding the severity of his condition.

What Kind of Treatments are There for Leprosy?

In medieval times, there was no cure and lepers were forced to live with their symptoms. Fortunately, there have been many advancements in modern medicine for treating leprosy.

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Source: The Conversation

In the case of the unidentified man from Texas, he received a series of antibiotics for his rash and saw an improvement within two months. He also had to have surgery on his hands with regular occupational therapy in order to regain movement.