Water is crucial in improving the health and sanitation of people affected by leprosy, from the taking of medication to caring for ulcers.
Those who do have disabilities due to leprosy may find it very difficult to collect water from hard to reach sources such as rivers.
Leprosy often causes the skin to become very dry, through damage to the nerves.
Soaking cracks in clean water every day until the dry skin is soft and elastic, which usually takes at least twenty minutes – thirty minutes perhaps on average, can help prevent infection.
Skin cracks and wounds in persons affected by leprosy should never be neglected or they may become openings for infection. Infection in the heel bone can destroy the bone. If that bone is destroyed or badly damaged, there is a strong possibility that the person may eventually lose their entire foot.
Even if cracks do not become infected they should be treated with care. They might heal, but they will leave scar tissues which can cause the fingers or toes to become stiff, deformed and difficult to use.