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Elephantiasis is a rare disease that primarily affects people living in tropical and subtropical regions. Its signature characteristic is the extreme swelling of various areas of the body. The condition’s name stems from the appearance of an affected person’s limbs, which resemble the thick, dry legs of an elephant.

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1. Symptoms

When symptoms of elephantiasis first appear, most people experience only mild edema. If this fluid retention goes without treatment, it can progress to the significant swelling and enlargement of elephantiasis. While it primarily affects the limbs and external genitals, elephantiasis can also cause others areas of the body to swell to massive proportions. Some causes of elephantiasis even trigger breast enlargement in females. As the affected areas grow, the skin thickens, becoming painful, hot, and dry.

elephantiasis swelling diagram Dr_Microbe / Getty Images
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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.