Hypertrichosis is a rare condition that causes hair to grow abnormally on the face and body. Because the condition causes hair to grow all over the face and body, it is often referred to as “werewolf syndrome.” In most cases, it is due to a genetic mutation before a child is born. When a person has this condition, they develop hair follicles in places that they shouldn’t, which is how the hair grows. Most babies develop lanugo hair while still in the womb, but they shed it at birth. Babies born with hypertrichosis are born with this hair, and it doesn’t fall out.
Fedor was born in the 19th century and suffered from the condition. His father, Adrian, did as well. Because of their strange appearances, they were offered contracts to join P.T. Barnum’s famous U.S. show. Fedor traveled to the United States to sing with the show in 1884 when he was just 16-years-old. They couldn’t tell the audience that Fedor and Adrian were simply people with a rare condition. Instead, they said that a hunter captured the two, and Fedor refused to assimilate to the ways of man. Fedor was even given the name “Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy.” On stage, Fedor would bark and growl at the crowd.
Percilla Lauther was born on April 26, 1911. Right when she was born, her father knew that she was different. Not only was her entire body covered with hair, but she also had two rows of teeth. The family lived in Puerto Rico, and the medical experts and the public were very interested in Percilla. The family moved to the United States, hoping that the doctors there could give them some guidance. When they arrived in the U.S., Percilla’s father had another idea. He decided to create some sort of exhibition to show off his daughter’s unique appearance. When they started touring, Percilla was given the name, “the monkey girl.” Despite this harmful nickname, she was happy and had a happy personal life. When she was touring in the ’30s, she met a fellow circus member, Emmitt Bejano, aka “alligator-skinned man.” The two fell in love, and they got married.
Today, people with this condition cannot join the circus because the circus has changed. They also cannot join traveling freak shows because they have been outlawed for decades. Since people with this condition are expected to live normal lives these days, they are often ridiculed. This is the case with a 13-year-old boy named Lalit Patidar. When he was born, he was covered in hair. The doctors trimmed the strands but told his mother that there is no cure for it. Despite the way her son was born, his mother was thrilled when he was born. She and her husband had five daughters, and they prayed for a son. When he was born with hypertrichosis, Lalit’s parents were thrilled, hair or not.
According to Lalit’s mother, he has managed to learn to accept his condition, but it isn’t always easy. The kids in school call him “monkey,” and when he is out in a busy town, people o0ften stare at him. He says that there have been plenty of times where kids would throw rocks at Lalit and call him names. He says that there is nothing he can do about his appearance. He wishes that he looked like the other kids, but he has learned to be comfortable with who he is. His condition doesn’t stop him from having dreams for the future. He says that he is going to be a police officer when he grows up so that he can look after his mother and father. He says that when people pick on him, his family and friends defend him. When he grows up, he wants to do the same for them.
There aren’t too many treatments available for this condition. Shaving and hair removal creams don’t last because the hair grows right back. Laser treatment isn’t an option because the laser targets only pigmented hair. It targets the melanin at the lower part of the follicle, but the hair that grows as a result of this condition is white; therefore, laser procedures won’t work. Fortunately, doctors are working on potential treatments.
16 Babies In Spain
When 16 babies in Spain developed this condition, it left the doctors stumped for two reasons. First, these babies were born at the same hospital and received the same follow-up care. Second, none of these babies were born with the condition. Since a genetic mutation causes this condition, the babies should have been born covered in hair, not developed it later. These parents were left distraught when their children all developed werewolf syndrome. They wanted answers from their doctor.
Indigestion and Acid Reflux
After the doctors did a little checking, they realized that each of the babies that came down with the condition was diagnosed with either indigestion or acid reflux. They were given omeprazole, and the doctors wondered if what was happening to the babies had something to do with the medication that the babies were given.
Farma-Quimica Sur SL
It turned out that the medication that the babies were given came from a pharmaceutical company called Farma-Quimica Sur SL, which is based in Malaga, Spain. The received the medicine from an Indian manufacturer. Of all the medication ordered, there were 50 faulty batches. The manufacturer put a secret ingredient in the medication that didn’t belong there.
The drug manufacturer accidentally added minoxidil into the medication, which is a drug that promotes hair growth. The 16 babies who developed the condition were all given the faulty batches. The facility that made the faulty drugs was shut down, and lawsuits were filed. Fortunately, when the babies stopped taking the medication, their hair growth stopped, and their excess hair fell out.