A Nepali woman and her three children who all suffer from congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa, a rare condition also known as “werewolf syndrome,” have traveled to their country’s capital seeking relief from their symptoms through laser treatment.
Devi Budhathoki and her children Manjura, 14, Niraj, 12, and Mandira, 7, suffer from excessive hair growth on their foreheads and other parts of their bodies as a result of the syndrome. The family traveled from their village of Kharay in the Dolkha district to a hospital near Kathmandu, according to Reuters.
There, the family’s faces were shaved by technicians before undergoing laser hair removal treatments in an attempt to reduce the thick hair, which has been especially difficult for the children who are often teased about their condition.
Congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa is extremely rare, with only about 50 cases recorded since the Middle Ages, according to MedScape. The symptoms are always present at birth. Throughout history, people with “werewolf syndrome” often become circus performers, most notably Stephan Bibrowski, known as Lionel the Lion-faced Man, and Annie Jones, known as The Bearded Woman, both of whom had the disease.