Werewolf Syndrome: Facts and Fiction

what is werewolf syndrome

Does Werewolf Syndrome actually exist? Or is it just a myth?

Regardless of the way in which this condition is depicted in the movies or by Hollywood, Werewolf Syndrome does actually exist!

What is Human Werewolf Syndrome?

It is known in the medical world as Hypertrichosis, and it is a condition that usually presents with the formation of excess hair growth across a person’s entire body; that is, with the exception of the soles of the feet and the palms of the hand. The hair growth is dense and has a fur-like resemblance. In some cases of Werewolf syndrome, it can be targeted on a specific bodily part, such as the ears, the elbows, and the back.

Hypertrichosis AKA Werewolf Syndrome can be classified into three different forms:

1. Naevoid Hypertrichosis

Some of the symptoms of this type of Werewolf Syndrome include excessive growth in specific patches on the body, such as beard growth, that can impact both males and females. It can also result in hair growth on and around the ears, a unibrow, or hair growth on other patches of the body.

2. Congenital Hypertrichosis Terminalis

Some of the typical signs of this type of Werewolf Syndrome involve the teeth. This is because this particular variety of the condition is linked to gingival hyperplasia which can present as teeth defects.

3. Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa (CHL)

This form of the condition is particularly rare and takes effect from birth. There have been less than a hundred reported cases of this type of Werewolf Syndrome reported in the modern day.

What are the Symptoms of Werewolf Syndrome?

Werewolf Syndrome AKA Hypertrichosis is defined as abnormal hair growth on a person’s body. This can be either localized or generalized hair growth, and as we have already discussed, it can be present from birth (very rarely) or develop later in a person’s life. The excessive hair growth is present in all areas of the body, with the exception of any androgen-dependant hair growth areas.

Werewolf Syndrome is often mistaken for another condition known specifically as Hirsutism. Medically speaking, Hirsutism is actually a type of hypertrichosis that mostly occurs in women and children but has been known to affect men too. This particular condition is heavily linked to the presence of excess androgens in the body, and can lead to the growth of darker, coarser hairs on areas such as the chin, chest, arms and legs, stomach and back. In most cases, hirsutism has an underlying cause such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which is why it’s important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of it.

What Causes Werewolf Syndrome?

The precise cause of Werewolf Syndrome is not known. While there have been a number of conditions that have been thought to cause Werewolf Syndrome, these have been a range of metabolic disorders and genetic disorders that can be brought on by spontaneous mutations.

To be more specific, Congenital Hypertrichosis is thought to be the type of Werewolf Syndrome that is genetic in nature or is caused by a spontaneous mutation.

Acquired Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa is also more commonly occurring with individuals who may be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their later life. It is not known why cancer can cause excessive hair growth, but it has been noted in many cases as a potential implication of the condition.

Localised Acquired Hypertrichosis is sometimes connected to a repeated application of minoxidil, iodine, topical steroids, and psoralens. It is also linked to repetitive scratching or itching, enhanced vascularity, and trichomegaly. If a person has a temporary plaster cast fitted for a broken or fractured limb, it is also possible that excessive hair growth can occur in this region, on a temporary basis only.

Generalized Acquired Hypertrichosis is sometimes linked with malnutrition, specifically in cases of anorexia nervosa. Along with being reported alongside cases of Malignancy, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, and specific medications, such as androgenic steroids.

Is Werewolf Syndrome Genetic?

According to a recent article on Live Science about Werewolf Syndrome, there has been a breakthrough in the understanding of the causes of Werewolf Syndrome. A genetic mutation has been discovered that is thought to be responsible for the medical disorder that causes people to get thick and densely covering hair on their faces and bodies.

Researchers had always believed that the condition runs in families and back in the 1990s, a lot of progress was made in the tracing of the genetics of this problem. More recently, it was an individual who was located in China who has helped to forge the way for this most recent breakthrough that has better-helped people understand whether or not Werewolf Syndrome is genetic. Simply put, this discovery led to the finding of a specific group of additional DNA that was located on the X chromosomes of the individuals who had been impacted by this condition. Therefore, it is now thought that the presence of this additional DNA could be responsible for activating these additional hair growth. In the medical world, the suspect gene that is known to be linked to the development of hair growth is called the SOX3 gene.

As research continues, and the Werewolf Syndrome causes become more understood, the significance of the discovery of the SOX3 gene might also play a vital role in helping with the future treatment of baldness and with the treatment of Hirsutism.

Is There a Cure for Werewolf Syndrome?

Regardless of whether the type of hypertrichosis is acquired or congenital, there is a possibility to reduce the thickness and denseness of the hair through the utilization of a range of different hair removal techniques. If you experience any symptoms, make sure to check in with your doctor.

As with any problems with excess hair growth, there two core types of treatments are either permanent or temporary. When a person decides on the best way to treat their elevated hair growth, the cost of the treatment, the convenience of the treatment, and the potential side-effects of the treatment are all key factors that will need to be considered.

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