Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis, Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia, “Tree Man Syndrome”
What appears to be tree bark growing out of someone’s skin may actually be Epidermodysplasia verruciformis. Of course, it isn’t bark. These growths are actually warts that can be exacerbated by exposure to sunlight. While these warts may be benign early in life, they can become malignant later in life.
Elephantiasis is an obstruction of lymphatic vessels which causes extreme swelling of skin and tissues, typically in the legs or testicles.
Cotard’s Delusion, “Walking Corpse Syndrome”
Rare mental disorder in which a person sincerely believes he or she is missing body parts such as the brain or is actually dead. Sufferers tend not to eat or bathe. This disorder has been connected to a dysfunction in the areas of the brain responsible for recognizing and associating emotions with faces, including their own. This causes a complete emotional detachment and removes any sense of personal identity when looking at their bodies.
Xeroderma Pigmentosum, “Vampire Syndrome”
Approximately 1 in 1 million people have xeroderma pigmentosum and are extremely sensitive to UV rays. These people must be completely shielded from sunlight, or will experience extreme sunburns and breakdown of the skin.
Hypertrichosis, “Werewolf Syndrome”
Those who suffer from hypertrichosis have abnormal hair growth covering their bodies. Faces can be completely covered in long hair, which is why the condition has earned the nickname of “werewolf syndrome.” Hypertrichosis can be either congenital or acquired. Those born with the condition can suffer from one of several known genetic mutations.
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, “Stone Man Syndrome”
Progressive genetic disorder that turns soft tissues into bone over time.
Aquagenic urticaria, “Water Allergy”
As the majority of our body is made out of water, it seems odd that an allergy to it would even exist. Though it isn’t a true allergy because it doesn’t trigger a histamine response, there are some who develop itchy hives and welts even after mere minutes of water exposure. This condition is quite rare, and the cause isn’t well known.
Cold Urticaria, “Cold Allergy”
Contact to cold air or water can trigger a histamine reaction, just like an allergy to bees or peanuts. This can cause itchy hives and swelling in the affected areas.
Alien Hand Syndrome
The phrase, “the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing” is actually literally true for some people. The condition involves a rogue hand that acts independently, grasping objects or moving in a way contrary to what the individual wishes to do. Sometimes, a rare side effect to brain injuries or surgical severing of the corpus callosum is the inability to control the actions of one hand.
Foreign Accent Syndrome
Some people develop a condition that causes them to uncontrollably speak in a foreign accent, even if they have never visited that area before. Often, several types of accents can be used at different times, or may even be blended together. This rare disorder typically comes about as a side effect following stroke or other brain injury. The person with the condition not only changes the tone of voice, but will also change tongue placement during speech.