Unusual but True – Werewolf Syndrome

werewolf-118321409 V2Werewolf Syndrome does exist but it is not what Hollywood or science fiction depicts it to be. Werewolf syndrome is medically known as hypertrichosis. It is a disorder that is characterized by excessive body hair. Typically the entire body with the exception of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet are covered in dense hair, which can resemble fur.  In some cases hair growth can be localized to a specific body part such as the back, elbows or ears.

Hypertrichosis can be classified into three main subcategories: congenital hypertrichosis terminalis, Naevoid hypertrichosis and congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa.

  • Congenital hypertrichosis terminalis- Is often associated with gingival hyperplasia, which causes those that are afflicted to have very few teeth or soft voices.
  • Naevoid hypertrichosis – Symptoms may include excessive beard growth (men and women), a heavy unibrow, hairy ears and in some cases with underlying spina bifida-a tail on the lower back.
  • Congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa- This form of hypertrichosis is extremely rare and is characterized by excessive hair at birth. There have only been about 50 cases reported globally since the middle ages.

Some possible conditions believed to cause hypertrichosis are metabolic disorders or genetic disorders caused by spontaneous mutations. The recommended treatment for this condition is hair removal because it is usually considered a cosmetic problem.

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