A 17-year-old with ‘werewolf syndrome’ has revealed he’s been bullied his whole life because of his rare condition, but has vowed to ‘always be happy and keep others happy’ .
Lalit Patidar is a student from the small village of Nandleta in Madhya Pradesh, India. His whole body has been covered in hair since he was six years old, when he was diagnosed with hypertrichosis – an extremely rare condition said to have only been found in around 50 people since the middle ages.
His condition means he has stood out all his life and as a result he has been called a ‘monkey boy’ by cruel school children who say they are afraid he will bite them.
But despite the bullying, he spoke about his positive outlook on life, saying he now dreams of becoming a successful Youtuber.
“I come from a normal family, my dad is a farmer and I am currently a senior in high school studying in 12th grade. At the same time, I help my father in his agricultural work,” Lalit said.
Lalit Patidar, 17, is a student from the small village of Nandleta in Madhya Pradesh, India. His whole body has been covered in hair since he was six years old, when he was diagnosed with hypertrichosis – a rare disease
“I’ve had this hair all my life, my parents say the doctor shaved me when I was born but I didn’t really notice anything different about me until I was six or seven about. That’s when I first noticed that hair was growing all over my body like no one else I knew.
“Since then I found out it was because I had a condition called hypertrichosis. It’s rare and to my knowledge only fifty people worldwide have been affected by it.
“There is no history of hair growth in my family, I am the only one with this condition,” the teenager said.
Hypertrichosis is characterized by abnormal hair growth all over the body.
There are two distinct types of hypertrichosis: generalized hypertrichosis, which occurs all over the body, and localized hypertrichosis, which is limited to a certain area.
Hypertrichosis can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired later in life.
This incurable disease causes abnormal amounts of fine hair up to two inches long to grow on a person’s face, arms, and other parts of the body.
Several 19th and early 20th century circus performers, such as Julia Pastrana, suffered from hypertrichosis. Many of them worked as “freaks” and were promoted as having animal-like features.
But Lalit lives a normal life despite his rare diagnosis. He goes to school and helps on his family’s farm, and has started blogging and creating videos.
His rare condition means he stands out, and as a result he has been branded a ‘monkey boy’ by cruel school children who say they are afraid he will bite them. But despite the bullying, he spoke about his positive outlook on life, saying he now dreams of becoming a successful Youtuber. Pictured: Lalit is seen on a computer (left) and with a friend (right)
Pictured: Lalit is seen as a young boy. He says when he was born, doctors first shaved him, but he quickly pushed back. He said he didn’t know he was different until he was about six years old
“I wasn’t mad when the hair started growing because I was very young at that time, but my family members and parents were very worried about me.”
“Little children used to get scared when they saw me, and when I was a kid I didn’t know why. Growing up, I realized my whole body had hair and it wasn’t like everyone else.
“The children were afraid that I would come back and bite them like an animal.”
Currently, there is no cure for Lalit’s condition, but he has learned to live with it and although he struggled with bullying as a child, he now realizes that is what makes him unique.
‘There is no cure for it now. I cut it if I feel it’s getting too long. It’s like hair, it’s going to keep growing, I have no other way to deal with it and I don’t believe there will ever be a cure,” he said.
“My classmates used to tease me, they would shout ‘monkey monkey’ at me, people tell me it’s very scary, and people also tease me calling me a ghost, they think I’m some kind of mythical being but I’m not those things.
“When I was young I had people throwing stones at me, it’s unfair for a child who has never known anything else.”
Pictured: Lalit is seen as a young boy (left). “I’ve had this hair all my life, my parents say the doctor shaved me when I was born but I didn’t really notice anything different about me until I was six or seven. “, did he declare.
“A lot of people ask how is this child like this, how is he, does he really have hair all over his body, is there a cure for this, I see parents pushing their little ones away children of me, it makes me sad to think that they are afraid.
However, it hasn’t all been bad for Lalit, and he’s learned to embrace his hair growth and knows it won’t stop him from living a happy life.
“I slowly realized that I have hair all over my body and that I’m different from regular humans in a good way, I’m unique,” he said. “Little by little everyone in my family started to feel normal about it and my friends gave me a lot of encouragement too.
“I learned a lot of things on my journey, the most important thing I learned that I am one in a million, I should never give up and live life to the fullest, I always want to move on and be happy.
“I’m different, but most of the time our differences are our greatest strengths and I’m proud to be me.
“I know only a few people have my condition, but even if you have something similar, or just something that makes you feel different from your peers, I would like to say that people will still say anything about you. .
“People gossip and even make things up, but you don’t have to be like that.
“No matter what others may say, we should never give up in life, we should always be happy and always positive in life.
“At the end of the day, I just want to say that you always have to respect everyone, no matter what a person looks like, they can have any disease.
“Always behave well with everyone, treat them kindly, you never know what a person is going through.
“It’s important to be happy, but also to make others happy.”
What is hypertrichosis?
Hypertrichosis is the term used for the growth of hair on any part of the body beyond the amount usually present in people of the same age, race and sex.
It is a very rare disease that patients are born with or develop later in life.
It rules out excessive body hair caused by abnormally high levels of male hormones.
Throughout history, sufferers have aroused great interest and performed in traveling circuses and freak shows.
A Nepali mother and her children with hypertrichosis, also known as ‘werewolf syndrome’ (file photo)
Excessive hair growth can cause aesthetic discomfort, resulting in a significant emotional charge.
Treatment options are limited and therapy results are not always satisfactory.
No single method of hair removal is appropriate for all parts of the body or all patients, and the one adopted will depend on the character, area and amount of hair growing, as well as the patient’s age and condition. his personal preferences.
Treatment methods include cosmetic procedures, bleaching, trimming, shaving, hair removal, waxing, chemical depilatories, electrosurgical hair removal, and hair removal using light sources and lasers.
Laser-assisted hair removal is the most effective long-term hair removal method currently available.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Dermatology