A 10-year-old Bangladeshi girl with bark-like warts on her face could be the first female to have contracted what is known as "tree man syndrome", doctors have said.

Sahana Khatun's father became concerned when a growth on his daughter's face began to spread.

He took her to Dhaka, where doctors have concluded she could have the same, incredibly rare, condition that has afflicted just four other people - all men - around the world.

The disease is called epidermodysplasia verruciformis or Lewandowsky-Lutz dysplasia - but more commonly referred to as "tree man syndrome" because of the bark-like appearance of the growths.

"We believe she is the first woman [to have the disease]," Samanta Lal Sen, head of Dhaka's Medical College Hospital burn and plastic surgery unit, told AFP.


Sahana's father, Mohammad Shahjahan, told the news agency: "We are very poor. My daughter lost her mother when she was only 6. I really hope that the doctors will remove the barks from my beautiful daughter's face."

One of the most documented sufferers of the condition will soon be able to leave hospital after groundbreaking treatment.

Abul Bajandar, a Bangladeshi known as "tree man" has had at least 16 operations, at the same hospital where Sahana is receiving treatment to remove 5kg of growths from his hands and feet. He could become the first person to be cured of the condition.

"Bajandar's cure was a remarkable milestone in the history of medical science," Sen said last month.

"We operated on him at least 16 times to remove the warts. The hands and feet are now almost fine. He will be discharged within next 30 days after a couple of minor surgeries to perfect the shape of his hands."

Bajandar said his surgeries had allowed him to hold his daughter once again.

"I never thought I would ever be able to hold my kid with my hands," he said.

"Now I feel so much better, I can hold my daughter in my lap and play with her. I can't wait to go back home."


Last year an Indonesian man died of the rare genetic condition.