This Woman's Mystery Illness Makes Fingernails Grow Out Of Her Hair Follicles

mystery illness

Photo: WLBT in Memphis

A mystery illness has stolen the life of a 28-year-old in Tennessee. The disease is some kind of skin condition that somehow causes an increase in the number of skin cells that are growing out of her hair follicles — a 12 fold increase. This turns the “hair” into something akin to “nails.”The woman’s mother described her illness to Yahoo!:

“Black scabs were coming out of her skin,” said her mother, Kathy Gary. “The nails would grow so long and come out and regrow themselves. They are hard to touch and stick you.”

Whatever is wrong with the woman, whose name is Shanya Isom, it started in 2009 after an asthma attack. During the attack, she was treated with a large dose of steroids. Doctors suspect this medication caused an allergic reaction, they said.

Even after two years, the doctors don’t know what’s causing Isom’s illness. A doctor at John’s Hopkins medical centre has come up with a treatment regimen that keeps the growths at bay and makes life more bearable. The 25 medications Isom is on are expensive though, so she’s set up a foundation to collect donations for her medical bills, and to help others suffering from undiagnosed illnesses.

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