What are the complications of leprosy?
If left untreated, leprosy can cause permanent damage to the nerves in the fingers, toes, hands and feet. This may affect a person’s ability to feel pain and temperature in these areas of the body. When you can’t feel your fingers or toes, you may accidentally burn, cut or hurt yourself. Repeated injuries and nerve damage can cause muscle weakness, deformities and even the loss of fingers and toes. Untreated leprosy can also cause swelling, and skin sores and lesions that are more severe.
If leprosy damages the lining of the nose, it can cause frequent nosebleeds and constant stuffiness. If leprosy damages your eyes, it can lead to glaucoma and even blindness. Lepromatous leprosy can reduce the amount of the male hormone testosterone and sperm counts in men, which can lead to erectile dysfunction and infertility. In more severe cases, leprosy can also damage the kidneys, which can lead to kidney failure.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff