A right “spider” hand and a left “eagle” hand

  • SB Khoo


Jim (not his real name) is a 68 year-old friendly andpleasant Eurasian man who has been very pleased toparticipate in our clinical teaching sessions for many years.To the medical students, Jim is fond of showing his handsand to test them by providing the following information:

“My left hand resembles the claws of an eagle and my righthand those of a spider.”

“I was born with normal hands. More than 30 years ago, Iwas diagnosed with a disease for which I was treated witha particular drug that caused my skin to become very darkespecially on sun exposed areas on my face and arms.Other people mistook me to be an Indian and spoke Tamilto me. The colour of my skin returned to normal severalmonths after I completed a 2 year course of this medication”

“What do you think is wrong with me?"

(copied from article)


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Leprosy: Infections: Mycobacteria. Merck Manual Professional. Available at: http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec14/ch179/ch179d.html.

WHO / Leprosy. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs101/en/.

D Scott Smith. Leprosy: eMedicine Infectious disease. Available at: http://www.emedicine.medscape.com/article/220455-overview.

How to Cite
KhooS. (2009). A right “spider” hand and a left “eagle” hand. Malaysian Family Physician, 4(2 & 3), 3. Retrieved from https://www.e-mfp.org/ojs3/index.php/MFP/article/view/188
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