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Friday Nov 18 2022
By
Web Desk

'Werewolf syndrome': Meet India teenager with hair all over his body

By
Web Desk
Lalit Patidar, 17, has hypertrichosis.— Instagram
Lalit Patidar, 17, has hypertrichosis.— Instagram 

A teenager from a small village in India, Nandleta in Madhya Pradesh, suffers from a rare condition often called the "werewolf syndrome" but has decided to "always be happy", reported MailOnline.

Lalit Patidar, 17, has hypertrichosis which causes extraordinary growth of body hair covering each part of the body in thick hair. Patidar has had his body covered in hair since he was aged six. The condition is so rare that it is believed to have affected only 50 people since the middle ages.

According to the publication, Patidar has been bullied all his life for his appearance. Being very prominently different from the rest of his mates, he was called "monkey boy" by bullies at school. Some children felt fearful that Patidar would bite them.

However, despite going through emotionally traumatic experiences all his childhood, the boy has a positive outlook in life and dreams of becoming a successful content creator.

Patidar, who currently studies in grade 12, told the outlet that his father was a farmer. "I help my father in his farming work," he said.

He said that he did not realise he was different or had a condition until the age of six or seven, probably when the bullying started.

Patidar as a young boy.— MDWFeatures
Patidar as a young boy.— MDWFeatures

"That's when I first took notice that the hair was growing all over my body like no one else I knew."

He added that he knew that the condition was rare and that "only fifty people in the world have been affected by this."

"There is no history of hair growth conditions in my family, I am the only one who has this disease," MailOnline quoted him as saying.

The condition has two types:  generalised hypertrichosis and localised hypertrichosis. The first one leads to hair growth all over the body while the latter is restricted to a particular area. The rare disorder can be present or birth or developed later in life. 

The hair can grow up to two inches on the whole body including the face of the patient. The condition is incurable.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, reportedly people who had the disorder were promoted in circus sideshows. They were appointed as "freaks" and trained to have animal-like traits.

Patidar, however, leads a normal life like any teenager and does not let his condition affect him. He has started to blog and creates video content.