A 11-year-old boy has hair growing all over his face and body, a rare medical anomaly. And doctors say that laser treatment or plastic surgery is the only way out.
Prithviraj Patil, son of a well-to-do farmer in Sangalwadi near Sangli, suffers from a rare medical anomaly though he is otherwise like any normal child.
Prithiviraj has no problem with his hair that is up to three-inches long except that it looks awful - there is no itch or rash on the skin or any bad odour accompanying the dermatological problem.
Hairy nevus, where a person has patches of excess hair growth or hirsutism, is not uncommon. But hair persisting all over the body is very rare, said plastic surgeon Vinay Saoji.
"Though I have not come across such cases or its documentation anywhere, I suppose options like epilation could be tried out to rid the boy of the embarrassment," Saoji told IANS.
Prithviraj became an object of curiosity at a health detection camp here Sunday as he waited his turn in a long queue of people for a medical check up.
The visit to the health camp was just another effort on the part of Dilip Patil, Prithviraj's father, in his quest to diagnose and possibly find a cure for his Class 5 son.
Skin specialist Dayanand Naik, who found that hormonal and pathological tests conducted on Prithviraj were normal, said that laser treatment or plastic surgery could be attempted after a few years.
"The hair might automatically drop out when Prithviraj attains puberty or become hard in which case laser would be useful," Naik told IANS. "We will of course do a hormonal assay before deciding the course of action."
Despite his unusual problem, Prithviraj has been doing consistently well in his studies.
When the father saw that the lanugo hair, as the condition is called in medical jargon, he took his son to a few skin specialists, endocrinologists, homeopaths and ayurvedic doctors. All told him that there was no quick-fire remedy for the rare disorder.
And the educated farmer never took recourse to anything unscientific - he never thought of going to a quack or a godman.
Hormonal studies and pathological tests conducted in nearby Pune and as far as in Germany and the US have fetched normal reports, according to the father .