Abul Bajandar, a Bangladeshi man, is suffering from a rare inherited skin disorder that causes the hands and feet to sprout wart-like lesions that look like tree branches and roots.
The disease causes rapid growth of cells in the outer layer of the skin or epidermis. The rapid cell growth looks like tree roots or branches sprouting from the body of the patient.
Twenty-five-year-old Abul Bajandar from Khulna in Bangladesh has been suffering from “tree man illness” (Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis) for seven years. Bajandar, a former rickshaw-van puller, who has been dubbed “tree man,” was admitted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) hospital this weekend.
Dr. Samanta Lal Sen, head of the Bangladesh National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery of the DMCH, told reporters that a team of medical experts is reviewing Bajander’s case and considering options.
The team of experts visited Bajandar at the DMCH burn unit after he was admitted to the hospital on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
Abul Bajandar had previously been treated at the Gazi Medical College Hospital in Khulna.
Medical researchers are working to find effective treatment for Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis. Researchers have proposed a number of therapies, including treatment with drugs like acitretin and Cimetidine. Interferon therapy combined with retinoids has also been suggested.
The unsightly warts may also be removed surgically.
Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) is a genetic or inherited condition. The genetic condition is recessive, meaning that a person must inherit faulty genes from both parents to develop the illness.
The condition is characterized by heightened susceptibility to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the skin. HPV infection in EV patients leads to uncontrolled growth of scaly macules and papules, especially on the hands and feet. But the growth also occurs in various other parts of the body.
The uncontrolled growth leads to wart-like lesions that give a subjective impression of a human being sprouting roots and branches like a tree.
Patients with the condition have a high risk of carcinoma of the skin.
Abul Bajander is not the first known case of the rare condition in recent years. The first widely known case of EV occurred in the Romanian Ion Toader, who was diagnosed with the illness in 2007.
An Indonesian man, Dede Koswara, also suffered from the condition. Koswara died recently, but according to Tribunnews, his death was not caused by EV.
A 2008 Discovery Channel program featured Koswara, known as the “tree-man.”
He was also featured in the TLC series My Shocking Story, in an episode titled “Half Man Half Tree.”
ABC’s Medical Mystery series also featured his case in the episode “Tree Man.”
Koswara first noticed the warts after a knee injury as a teenager. But the condition worsened over the years. The warts sprouted all over his body, making it difficult for him to lead a normal active life. He was finally fired from his job.
After losing his job he was ostracized socially, and under pressure to earn a living, he was forced to join a circus in Bandung. But after the media took up his case, he received donations for medical treatment from sympathetic members of the public.
He finally underwent surgery to remove the warts. Surgeons removed about six kilograms of warts from his body, and said he would have to undergo surgery twice every year to remove fresh growths of the warts.
[Image via Jon Frank/Shutterstock.com]