Elephantiasis, also referred to as lymphatic filariasis, may be a very rare condition that’s spread by mosquitoes.
The common name is usually used because if you’ve got it, your arms and legs can swell and become much bigger than they ought to be. Your sex organs and breasts can also swell . The affected skin can thicken and harden to seem something like an elephant’s skin.
It’s more common in tropical or subtropical areas.
If you’ve got it, there are medicines and coverings to assist with the swelling and discomfort.
Usually, to urge elephantiasis, you’d need to be bitten by tons of mosquitoes over an extended time, during a country where certain sorts of roundworms are known to exist.
It starts when mosquitoes infected with the roundworm larvae bite you. the small larvae survive in your bloodstream and grow. They finish maturing in your lymph system. they will live there for years and cause tons of injury to your lymph system. this is often what causes the swelling.
You may not know you’ve got elephantiasis until you notice the swelling. Not only will those body parts begin to seem bulky and lumpy with stiff, tough skin, there’s also pain within the swollen area.
You may even have chills, fever, and just feel bad everywhere .
Your doctor can determine if you’ve got elephantiasis by supplying you with a physical exam. they’re going to ask about your medical record , and whether you’ve traveled to an area where you were more likely to possess gotten elephantiasis.
They also will have blood tests done to ascertain if roundworms are in your bloodstream. These tests got to be done in the dark , because that’s when these parasites are active.
There are medicines to treat elephantiasis. Your doctor may offer you one called diethylcarbamazine (DEC). You’ll take it once a year. it’ll kill the microscopic worms in your bloodstream.
Another way to treat elephantiasis is to use DEC together with a drugs called ivermectin. this is often also taken once a year, and therefore the combination has shown better long-term results.
If you’ve got elephantiasis symptoms, there are some belongings you can do on your own to ease them:
Wash and dry the swollen areas daily.
Check for wounds and use medicated cream on any sore spots.
Exercise, and walk when possible.
If your arms or legs are swollen, keep them elevated when you’re lying down or seated.
You may even be ready to wrap the affected areas tightly to stop them from getting worse, but you ought to ask your doctor before doing this.
Sometimes, surgery could also be needed to alleviate pressure in very swollen areas, just like the scrotum.
Living With Elephantiasis
Elephantiasis is often disabling. Sometimes it’s hard to maneuver the affected body parts, which suggests it might be difficult to figure. it’d even be hard to urge around in your home.
You might also worry about how your condition looks to people. this will cause anxiety and depression. If you’ve got elephantiasis and need information about support groups, ask your doctor. you’ll also go browsing to seek out resources that may help.