"I'm never happy to see a patient with trollpox. Not because they're disgusting, mind you - do enough work on the sick and you become tolerant of a lot. No, it's because there's no pleasant way to deal with it once they discover it's not just a rash."Of the many illnesses which leave physical signs on those infected, trollpox is perhaps one of the more obvious and disturbing. The infected person is obviously unwell, and there can be permanent damage to the skin and sense of touch after the trollpox has abated. This disease gets its name from the skin of the infected person developing hard warty growths not unlike trollhide, coupled with a sensitivity to sunlight. This is unfortunate, as exposure to sunlight has been proven to help the body recover faster. It takes a skilled doctor to treat the disease through extensive and constant care, which can be beyond the means of most ordinary people. Luckily, there are healers who administer treatments to the poor in larger cities.
The most notable sign of trollpox is a swelling lesion on the skin, most often along the limbs, containing infectious material. These lesions are painful and itch considerably, which can lead to the person spreading the material across the skin and spreading the lesions. At this point the disease is merely a skin condition, but this will change within a couple days if the lesions are not treated properly. A cleansing salve will help alleviate the itching sensation, and draw out the infection to the skin surface. This is not pretty, and often is coupled with wrapped bandages which must be changed regularly over the healing process. It has been discovered sunlight on exposed lesions which have been treated with salve will improve the healing process, but the skin is very sensitive to this. Sunburns are more easily received, and very unpleasant to deal with on top of the disease's symptoms.
If the treatment is not given, or the signs are ignored, then the trollpox developes the characteristics it is known for. The skin over the lesions begins to become dry and hardens, pulling away from the surface into warty growths which now are painful to touch. The infection will spread through the body from under the skin, as more lesions will appear rapidly until the body can fight the disease off. At this stage of the disease, treatment is usually a two-step process which takes more time to handle. Most doctors will use sharp blades to remove the growths and apply salve to the lesions as normal, though this will leave visible scarring which may never fully heal. Cautious healers apply a lotion to the skin which softens the growth until it is more easily handled, so as to reach the lesions and drain them with incisions. Either course of treatment is extremely painful and risks other infections happening, but the final stage is far from desirable.
The final stage of trollpox is when the lesions begin appearing on the body and rapidly progressing into the second-stage growths. At this point, magical assistance would be the most sure way to cure the disease as the road to recovery through standard care would take months. The skin condition may proceed onto the face of the infected individual, and this may cause obstructions of the eyes, nose, and/or mouth. The pain from the skin condition will have reached a considerable level, almost unbearable, which causes the body of an infected individual to require tender care during treatment. At any point in this stage, the infection could transition into more serious issues internally, which cannot be easily solved. As might be expected, once this stage is reached the likelihood of becoming cured even with attentive care is minimal. Unfortunately, few survive the final stage of trollpox; those who can manage to survive without professional treatment will bear the skin growths for the rest of their days unless they find someone capable of removing them safely.