Man has extremely rare ‘devil’s horn’ surgically removed in India (PHOTOS)

Shyam Lal Yadav, from Rahli village in Madhya Pradesh, sustained a head injury in 2014 after which he was left with a lump on the crown of his head which steadily grew over the next five years to a length of roughly four inches (10cm).

The rare cutaneous horn was made out of keratin, a substance found in toenails and human hair, which can be overproduced by the elderly.

“Initially, he ignored it as it did not cause any discomfort. Also, he got the growth cut by the local barber,” surgeon Vishal Gajbhiye said.

Gajbhiye performed the operation at Bhagyoday Tirth Hospital in Sagar City after a CT scan determined it was safe to do so. Yadav spent 10 days in hospital recovering and underwent a skin graft to cover the wound.

“As the horn is composed of keratin, the horn can usually be removed with a sterile razor. However, the underlying condition will still need to be treated.”

A biopsy confirmed the growth itself was harmless but Yadav may yet need to undergo further surgery or even radiation therapy, and chemotherapy depending on future test results.

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The underlying cause of the horn is still largely unknown but it is suspected that exposure to radiation or sunlight may have triggered accelerated growth. 

There is also a sebaceous gland inside the scalp which secretes a fluid to keep the hair and skin lubricated. 

“Perhaps the secretion would have stopped so the fluid kept getting stored and turned into a horn,” Gajbhiye said.

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