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The Rare Case of Hypertrichosis in a Child from Apayao


A peculiar case from Apayao, Philippines, has garnered attention as Elma’s son, Jaren Gammongan, has been diagnosed with a rare condition known as Hypertrichosis, characterized by excessive hair growth on the body. Elma, upon seeing her child’s condition, attributed it to superstition, claiming that the child had been cursed due to her consumption of cat meat during pregnancy.

This practice, which is founded in local custom and involves the consumption of a dish cooked from wild cats, is not unique to Elma and is common across her area. Doctors stated that the child’s condition is caused by Hypertrichosis, a rare disorder in which hair grows not only on the head but also on other regions of the body such as the face, back, hands, and chest. This disease, although rare, is not caused by maternal dietary choices during pregnancy.

Despite being considered the hairiest child in the world due to this condition; Doctors emphasize that the cause lies in genetics rather than any perceived curses or dietary habits during pregnancy.

What is Hypertrichosis?

Hypertrichosis can be referred to as a condition where there is an excessive growth of hair anywhere on the body. It can be congenital or acquired later. The condition can be limited to a small patch or may cover the entire body.

Causes of Hypertrichosis

Various rare inherited syndromes that cause genetic dysfunction of proteins associated with the development of hair follicles are linked to congenital generalized hypertrichosis. Also, there are a few medications such as minoxidil that when exposed in utero may cause congenital generalized hypertrichosis. Hypertrichosis is also associated with increased levels of total and free testosterone in a few patients.

A few factors responsible for Acquired localized hypertrichosis include:

  • Repetitive trauma
  • Brain surgeries
  • juvenile dermatomyositis
  • juvenile hypothyroidism
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Friction


A few common ways of management include depilatory creams, laser hair removal, electrolysis, etc. Some most efficacious lasers are Alexandrite, diode, and the Nd: Yag lasers.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

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Priya Bairagi

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