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Thalomid for Skin Lesions Due to Leprosy

Leprosy is a disease caused by an infection with the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae. It is also known as Hansen's disease.
 
Leprosy is transmitted by coming into contact with infected respiratory droplets from an untreated individual. Several factors may play a role in whether a person will develop the condition, including genetics, environment, and the extent of exposure to the bacteria (see How is Leprosy Spread? for more information). In general, leprosy is not a very contagious disease.
 
When a person becomes infected with the bacteria that cause leprosy, the bacteria begin to multiply within the body. After three to five years, symptoms can begin. This period between becoming infected and the start of symptoms is called the "leprosy incubation period." Although the incubation period for leprosy is typically between three and five years, it can range from six months to several decades.
 
Leprosy usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves. However, once a person starts experiencing symptoms, the problems can range in type and severity. The symptoms will also vary based on the form of leprosy that a person has -- tuberculoid leprosy or lepromatous leprosy. Although both forms cause skin sores, the lepromatous form is more severe.
 
Erythema nodosum leprosum (ENL) is an inflammatory reaction associated with lepromatous leprosy. ENL involves a sudden outbreak of painful, red sores, usually on the face, arms, and thighs. The sores may last one to two weeks, but often recur. ENL can also cause other symptoms, such as:
 
 
Thalomid can be used alone to treat people with new, moderate-to-severe ENL skin lesions. It is used in combination with other medicines when moderate-to-severe nerve pain is present. Thalomid is also used to prevent the lesions from coming back in people who have recurrent ENL.
 
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