Young Girl Diagnosed with Tree Man Syndrome
A 10-year-old girl in Bangladesh is being treated for the extremely rare condition known as “tree man” syndrome.
Sahana Khatun was admitted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital on Sunday with unusual marks and growths on her face.
“She has bark-like warts growing on her chin, nose and ear,” Dr. Samanta Lal Sen, chief plastic surgeon at the hospital, told CNN.
Sahana first developed the disease eight years ago, when her father found some rashes on her face. Only since last year have the tree-like warts begun sprouting on her face.
The symptoms are thought to be that of epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a rare, heritable disease; there have only been a handful cases reported around the world. Those with the condition are likely to develop malignant skin tumors.
“We don’t know yet if this is (one) hundred percent a ‘tree man’ syndrome, but it definitely is a variety of the epidermodysplasia verruciformis, disease which causes very unusual skin disorder,” Lal Sen said.
The condition is caused by a defect in the immune system which increases one’s susceptibility to cutaneous HPV, or human papillomavirus.
Sahana lost her mother when she was 6 and lives with her father, a laborer.
“Due to a weak financial condition of the family, (the) hospital is bearing all of their medical and personal costs” Lal Sen said.
Doctors at the hospital are planning to operate and remove Sahana’s lesions as early as next week.
Lal Sen said her condition is not very serious and since she has a milder form of the disease, the team is confident that they can clear Sahana’s face within one surgery.