|Description:||The man depicted was ill with lepromatous leprosy, caused by the bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae. Under the newer World Health Organization (WHO) standards, this form of the disease is classified as multibacillary (MB), leprosy. Findings included marked wrinkling of the face, especially the midface involving skin of the nose and cheeks, and around the eyes. Though the data accompanying this photograph did not mention whether the left eye's cloudy cornea, and the scleral pigmentation were associated with the disease, these findings cannot be ruled out as being disease-related.|
A chronic infectious disease, leprosy usually affects the skin and peripheral nerves, but has a wide range of possible clinical manifestations. Patients are classified as having paucibacillary or multibacillary Hansen's disease. Paucibacillary Hansen's disease, which was the case here, is milder and characterized by one or more hypopigmented skin macules. Multibacillary Hansen's disease, as in this case, (see also PHIL 15454 – 15459) is associated with symmetric skin lesions, nodules, plaques, thickened dermis, and frequent involvement of the nasal mucosa resulting in nasal congestion and epistaxis.