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What is werewolf syndrome that MP teen suffers from? A dermatologist explains

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaNov 25, 2022 | 08:00

What is werewolf syndrome that MP teen suffers from? A dermatologist explains

For the long time, society has been fascinated with congenital disorders such as excessive body hair growth, thanks to pop culture films such as Bhediya, Twilight, or Vampire, in which characters such as werewolves are frequently dramatised and romanticised. However, someone's reactions to seeing people suffering from such chronic conditions in real life are extremely different.

A teenage boy from MP, Lalit Patidar, suffers from werewolf syndrome. He has been bullied and been called a "monkey man," with his hair overgrowing and covering his body like animal fur.

 

 

But before we get into the details of the conditions, let us understand what is werewolf syndrome or hypertrichosis

dailyO spoke to Dr Anupama Bisaria, a dermatologist (MBBS, MD) from Noida, about this condition. According to her, hypertrichosis or werewolf syndrome is a rare syndrome and is often characterised by an abnormal amount of hair growth all over the body and can affect both males and females. The abnormal hair growth may cover the face and body or occur in small patches.  

Photo: A patient with hypertrichosis in 2016 (AFP)

How uncommon is werewolf syndrome? 

The first ever case was recorded in 1648, to a family called Aldrovandus. Originally from the Canary Islands, Spain the family including 2 daughters, son and a grandchild were affected and were bought France by 'nobels' to study. 

Photo: Family of Petrus Gonzales, who lived in the 16th century (medscape.com)

Now, over the next 300 years, less than 100 cases were spotted, including the teen from Madhya Pradesh. 

Can you get infected with hypertrichosis?

Dr Bisaria explains that hypertrichosis is a rare disease and occurs: 

  • Naturally during birth 
  • Or if the patient is on steroids or some other medicines  
Insensitivity from society can go a long, long way. These days I see that people are made of in case of excessive hair or hair loss as well.
- Dr Anupama Bisaria

Cure? There is no cure available for the syndrome. However, with long-term and short treatments, it can be resolved. Temporary treatments like laser treatments, waxing, shaving and other hair removal treatment can also be used, Dr Bisaria said.

Last updated: November 25, 2022 | 08:00
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