Leprosy. Third World doctor examining the face of a man suffering from leprosy or Hansen's disease. The disease has deformed the man's nose. Leprosy is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It results in nerve damage, mainly in the face and limbs, due to the immune system's response to the bacteria as they die. In serious cases, numbness of the skin, muscle weakness and paralysis follow, leading to deformity and disfigurement. Here, the cartilage and bone of the nose has been damaged. The disease can be treated with drugs, although nerve damage cannot be repaired. Photographed in Iran.
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