A cutaneous disease which first appears as blebs or as reddish, shining, slightly prominent spots, with spreading edges. These are often followed by an eruption of dark or yellowish prominent nodules, frequently producing great deformity. In one variety of the disease, anæsthesia of the skin is a prominent symptom. In addition there may be wasting of the muscles, falling out of the hair and nails, and distortion of the hands and feet with destruction of the bones and joints. It is incurable, and is probably contagious.
Symptomatic infection with Mycobacterium leprae, it may involve the skin, peripheral nerves, anterior eye, upper respiratory tract, and other organ systems.
(lep·ro·sy) NOUN: According to the World Health Organization, leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast, rod-shaped bacillus. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract and also the eyes, apart from some other structures. Its most apparent symptom is skin lesions. People with leprosy have historically been isolated from the general population.