While werewolves are only a work of fiction, there is a teenager from India who lived all his life being bullied because of his rare condition that made his skin sprout "werewolf" fur all over his body.
In a report by Media Drum World carried by the New York Post, 17-year-old Lalit Patidar grew up suffering from a skin condition called hypertrichosis, which causes him to have "excessive hair growth anywhere on the body" and has no known cure, as defined by the National Library of Medicine.
Health information site Healthline detailed that the condition is also known as the "werewolf syndrome" and it can equally affect both men and women. Hypertrichosis is extremely rare, with less than a hundred cases recorded in history, and it tends to be passed on in the family.
Because of this skin abnormality, Patidar had grayish-black hair covering almost all of his face down to his chest, which made him the subject of intense bullying from other people who were terrified of his appearance.
"When I was young, I had people throw stones at me. Kids were worried I would come back to bite them like an animal," Patidar recounted his painful experience.
He said that the condition had already been affecting him since birth, but didn't really notice anything drastic until he reached his middle childhood.
"My parents say the doctor shaved me at birth but I didn’t really notice anything was different about me until I was around six or seven years old. That’s when I first took notice that the hair was growing all over my body like no one else I knew," Patidar told the news outlet.
View this post on Instagram
When he was officially diagnosed as having hypertrichosis, this news came as strange to him as no one in his family had ever gotten it.
While initially unbothered by the premature mane that had grown on his body, Patidar eventually became concerned about his appearance when his "werewolf hairs" set him apart from other people.
"My schoolmates used to tease me, they would shout ‘monkey monkey’ at me. People also tease me by calling me a ghost, they think I am some sort of mythical being but I am not these things," Patidar said.
He went on, "I see parents moving their small children away from me, it makes me sad to think they are scared."
But Patidar eventually moved forward from this unpleasant experience and has learned to accept his hairy self.
"I am different from common humans in a good way, I am unique. Slowly everyone in my family started feeling normal about it and my friends also encouraged me a lot," he declared.
"I got to learn many things during my journey, most importantly I got to learn that I am one in a million. I should never give up and live life to the fullest I always want to move forward and be happy," he added.
View this post on Instagram