19.5.1  Signs and symptoms of leprosy reactions

The symptoms and signs of inflammation in a leprosy patient include the appearance of new skin lesions, redness and/or swelling of skin lesions, swelling and/or increased tenderness of the skin lesions, plus the appearance of tender nodules in the skin. Figure 19.3 shows typical reactions of this type in two patients.

Other reactions relate to the affected nerves; there can be swelling and tenderness of peripheral nerves, with or without loss of nerve functions, and sudden nerve function impairments or loss, such as weakness of muscles of the hands and feet or inadequate closure of eyelids, due to untreated inflamed nerves. You will recall that you learnt about nerve examination in Study Session 18, so that you are able to spot signs and symptoms such as these and take appropriate steps by referral to a clinician.

19.5  Leprosy complications and management

19.5.2  Managing leprosy reactions