An Indian man has finally had a four-inch ‘devil horn’ removed from his head.
Shyam Lal Yadav bumped his head around five years ago. Soon after, he began to notice a mysterious growth.
The 74-year-old farmer from Rahli village in Madhya Pradesh had his barber take care of it for years. However, no matter how often it was shaved down, it persisted to grow – eventually towering 10cm above the elderly gentleman’s head.
It became too long and hard to handle – Shyam had no choice but to seek a surgeon’s help at the hospital.
All was well, though: neurosurgeons at Bhagyoday Tirth Hospital in Sagar city, India, swiftly removed the ‘devil horn’ from the man’s head and he is now recovering.
Surgeon Dr Vishal Gajbhiye said:
Around five years ago the patient had hurt his head after which a lump started growing. Initially, he ignored it as it did not cause any discomfort. Also, he got the growth cut by the local barber.
But, when the lump hardened and started growing further, he approached the hospital at Sagar.
In order to determine what treatment was necessary, Shyam had a CT beforehand. Surgeons removed the horn with a razor and skin was grafted on the wound – however, they need to treat the root cause of the growth to prevent it from sprouting in the future.
This strange medical phenomenon, often referred to as a ‘devil’s horn’, is technically called a sebaceous horn.
Dr Gajbhiye explained:
In medical terms this type of rare growth is called sebaceous horn (devil’s horn). As the horn is composed of keratin, the same material found in fingernails, the horn can usually be removed with a sterile razor.
However, the underlying condition will still need to be treated. The sebaceous horns are predominantly benign lesions however the possibility of malignant potential should always be kept in mind. Treatments vary, but they can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
The growths are most common between people aged between 60 and 70 years old.
While the specific causes of the horns are unknown, scientists have previously found links to radiation and UV exposure – other catalysts include viral warts, squamous cell carcinoma or the scaly growth actinic keratosis.
Doctors said details of the case have been sent to the International Journal of Surgery because of how rare this type of growth is.
So don’t worry, it’s unlikely you’ll wake up looking like Daniel Radcliffe in that weird Horns movie.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.