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From Minor Swell to Severe Elephantiasis: Learn How to Take Care of a Swollen Leg

Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system. The painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestations of the disease, lymphoedema, elephantiasis, and scrotal swelling occur later in life and can lead to permanent disability. These patients are not only physically disabled but suffer mental, social, and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.

Elephantiasis is caused by parasitic worms that are spread by mosquitoes. The worms affect the lymphatic system in the body. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste and toxins. If It becomes blocked, then it doesn’t properly remove waste. This leads to a backup of lymphatic fluid, which causes swelling in some areas of the body, mostly legs.

How is elephantiasis treated and prevented?

Treatment of elephantiasis always involves treating the underlying condition. Lymphatic filariasis is chronic lymphedema, which should be treated in the early stages with good compression therapy and garments to prevent elephantiasis.

(a) antiparasitic drugs, such as diethylcarbamazine (DEC), mectizan, and albendazole (Albenza).

(b) using good hygiene to clean the affected areas.

(c) exercising based on a doctor’s directions.

(d) caring for wounds in the affected areas.

(e) surgery in extreme cases, which may include reconstructive surgery for the affected areas or surgery to remove affected lymphatic tissue.

Prevention; To prevent swollen legs from leading to elephantiasis, individuals should avoid mosquito bites, people who live in African countries, in particular, should, sleep under a mosquito net, cover up their skin with long sleeves and trousers, and use insect repellent.

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Content created and supplied by: LIZZYhealthmedia (via Opera News )

Elephantiasis Swollen

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