Stories tagged warts

Dec
19
2008

Oh, I don't know...: It's a tree, it sort of looks like a man, it's kind of kingy... Just read the post, okay?
Oh, I don't know...: It's a tree, it sort of looks like a man, it's kind of kingy... Just read the post, okay?Courtesy Natmandu
I’ve never seen that show “Ugly Betty,” but I’m assuming that the premise is that there’s a girl who’s too poor to buy the clothes and makeup that would make her hot, and that her parents were too poor to buy the childhood braces that make our teeth hot, and that eventually she’ll have some sort of Cinderelly event where she gets all these things and finally just be Hot Betty.

I could be off on this, but I feel pretty confident.

There’s also that late-90s movie about the dorky girl and the hot guy who goes out with her on a bet… What was that called? It was in the vein of “10 things I hate about you” (#1: your attitude)… It doesn’t matter. At some point in the movie, somebody had this sort of scientific/religious revelation that if they let the dorky girl’s hair down, and put her into a tight, red dress, she would suddenly transform into a hot girl (who still knew how to read and stuff)!

I’m not sure if I actually saw that one either, or if I just watched the preview a bunch of times, but I’m pretty sure it was a great film.

Anyway, last year the world got to experience a similar transformation in real life, thanks to Dede Koswara, the Tree Man. Y’all remember him? He has an extremely rare genetic condition that prevents his immune system from controlling the growths caused by the human papilloma virus—that is, he was covered in monster, foot-long, horny warts. I guess they kind of made him look like a tree, which, outside of fantasy epics, is decidedly un-hot. They also prevented him from being able to feed himself, which is also pretty un-hot.

Last spring, then, Dede was offered medical treatment for his condition, and underwent some serious pruning. All in all, more than 14 pounds of warty growths were cut off of him, and… sparkle sparkle… a regular Javanese James Dean emerged, a latter-day Skeet Ulrich, a living Corey Feldman!

Don’t believe me? Check out this picture. Not only can he feed himself now, he can smoke! And if you can see through the smoke and remnant warts, you’ll notice stylish glasses, and a brooding expression. Very nice. I think the world has just found its “Mr. Ugly Betty.”

Sadly, when one assumes the Crown of Cool it’s only a matter of time before tragedy finds him. James Dean, Steve McQueen, River Phoenix, James Franco—all casualties of the rock and roll lifestyle of the blisteringly cool. And now, it seems, Prince Dede’s warts are growing back.

While doctors say that the condition is no longer life-threatening, we members of the cult of Koswara can only stew in our dread and wait for Dede to return to the way he was.

We knew this would happen, Charlie, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

Nov
20
2007

A different tree man entirely: But he may also have HPV.
A different tree man entirely: But he may also have HPV.Courtesy Esther17
First of all, the photo posted here has nothing to do with the story. It’s just something to look at. What you should do is go to the original article, and look long and hard at the pictures there. Then you’ll have a nice visual reference, as well as something to keep you awake for the rest of your life.

But here’s the story: ever since a teenage accident in which he received a cut on the knee, an Indonesian man has been growing bizarre root-like projections from his hands and feet. Seriously, check out that link. For years, doctors could make neither heads nor tales of the 35-year-old man’s condition.

One would like to imagine that root hands and feet would be accompanied with super powers (super strength, nourishment from the ground, the ability to tear down the walls of Isengard, etc.), but this man had no such luck. Instead, his wife left him, and he’s no longer able to use his hands for much of anything (not exactly super powers).

Recently, however, a dermatological specialist from the University of Maryland traveled to the man’s village to examine his case. After testing his blood and samples of the growths, the doctor has concluded that the “roots” are in fact lesions caused by HPV, the Human papillomavirus. They’re warts, more or less.

HPV gets some attention here on Science Buzz, but usually in reference to its association with cervical cancer. Fortunately, this is a little different, and a lot more rare. The HPV is a normal strain, but this particular guy has a genetic fault that impedes his immune system (so much so that the doctor initially thought that he might have the AIDS), and prevents his body from containing the warts. So they just kept on growing, to the point where they could be considered “cutaneous horns.”

Cutaneous horns don’t generally develop past normal warts on humans, obviously. However, Cottontail rabbit papillomavirus (yes, a real thing, which I will mentally file next to Wobbly hedgehog syndrome) can cause that sort of thing on rabbits. Advanced CRPV (also known as shope papillomavirus) can even look like little bunny horns, or antlers, which probably gave rise to the legend (if you want to call it that) of the Jackalope. The SMM had a stuffed rabbit with shope papillomavirus on display recently, but if you missed it you can check out some pictures here.

In the case of the “Tree Man,” the doctor thinks that daily doses of synthesized vitamin A (often used for severe cases of HPV) should clear up the bulk of the growths, and the more resilient warts could be removed by freezing or surgery. It’s unlikely that the man will ever have a completely “normal” body, but hopefully this treatment should allow him use of his hands again.

Isn’t that all unusual?

Mar
22
2007

Unlikely cure: Not only does it look weird, but new research finds that duct tape is not the best way to get rid of warts. The new study found it effective only 21 percent of the time.
Unlikely cure: Not only does it look weird, but new research finds that duct tape is not the best way to get rid of warts. The new study found it effective only 21 percent of the time.
I’m sorry to tell you this Red Green, but you might want to clean out that duct tape in your medicine cabinet.

New studies contradict the idea that duct tape is effective in curing warts. You might remember all the hubbub a few years ago that said the best way to get rid of warts was to put a piece of duct tape on the warty area and they would soon be dissolved away.

That study was done in 2002, but a new study done over a larger group of subjects showed that duct tape worked only 21 percent of the time in dissolving warts.

Warts are caused by a virus that hangs around in the outer layers of our skin. They’re in a place that’s hard for our bodies immune system to get its antibodies to attack the virus. The original theory behind the duct tape treatment concept was that rubber on the sticky side of the duct tape would irritate the skin enough to stimulate antibodies to go to the wart and kill it off.

But the new study found that duct tape was no more effective in treating warts than moleskin bandages, which are a cotton tape bandage similar to a Band-aid.

According to the experts in the field, the best way to treat warts is to use over-the-counter topical treatments that contain salicylic acid. Doctors will sometimes use laser therapy or liquid nitrogen to zap especially pesky warts. Without any treatment, most common warts will clear up on their own within two years.