A WOMAN was left horrified when a giant black horn grew out of her thumb – for the second time.
The 60-year-old went to doctors complaining the bizarre black growth had been there for the last five years.
A woman, 60, went to doctors after this weird black horn grew out of the side of her thumb
She had already had a similar growth removed from the same spot on the side of her right thumb three years prior.
But it had returned and within two years it had grown to 6cm long and 1cm wide, according to a British Medical Journal case report.
Doctors diagnosed the woman, from India, as having a giant cutaneous horn (GCH) – a hyperkeratotic growth from the skin resembling the horn of an animal.
All animal horns – except those of rhinoceros – contain bone cast, whereas in humans they are made of compact keratin.
Keratin is a protein that makes up the top layer of the skin, and when it overgrows it can cause a cone or horn-like lump.
Most aren’t cancerous, and can be easily treated.
They usually occur on sun-exposed areas, but Dr Ranjit Kumar Sahu, who co-authored the article, said that one on the thumb is rare.
It was removed under local anaesthetic and after the surgery, medics put the horn under the microscope where they also noted features of seborrheic keratosis at the base.
These are one of the most common non-cancerous skin growths in adults and are usually brown with a waxy or scaly appearance.
Dr Sahu said the woman’s wound healed well without any re-occurrence a year and a half after the operation.
Horn down below
Though rare, it’s not the first instance of a cutaneous horn growth in India.
Spare a thought for one poor guy who grew one from his manhood after having an op down there.
Medics said it was a bizarre side-effect of the surgery and removed it.
But a month later it grew back – reaching one inch in length.
The patient had a history of lichen sclerosus, a skin condition that affects the genitals causing itching and white patches.
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The condition is usually easily treated, but can cause complications.
In this man’s case it caused a urethral stricture, or narrowing of the tube.
Thankfully, surgeons were able to remove the horn, the second time around – and no lasting damage was caused to the man’s penis.
Doctors diagnosed the woman as having a Giant cutaneous (keratotic) horn (GCH) on the thumb
It was removed during surgery and a year and a half later docs noted that it had healed well
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