Top Ten Most Disfiguring Diseases
This does not mean that looks don’t have an effect on how people treat each other. In fact, many still contend that a person’s general appearance is still significant in many social situations.
Likewise, what constitutes beauty (or ugliness) is very much dictated by consensus. What is considered to be beautiful (or ugly) is as much a social construct as identity, gender and power.
With this top ten list of the most disfiguring diseases, it’s best to think of the basis people use to measure disfigurement. If a person is said to have a mangled face, what does a non-mangled face look like?
9. Phossy Jaw
Passed on only through genetics, hypertrichosis is a condition in which body hair grows at such intensity and rate that the patient looks as if he or she has fur. People with hypertrichosis often have faces covered in hair. Because those afflicted look like animals, they are often considered freaks of nature and veritable circus acts. However, aside from their fur-like body hair, they are normal everyday people.
The tissue of people with acromelagy is considerably softer. Their hands, legs, feet, nose, lips and ears are larger than normal. The same is true for their internal organs. Some disfigurement is observed where the condition affects the general bone structure of the face. The foreheads of sufferers are wider than usual, while their jaws protrude farther.
6. Small Pox
After 12-15 days of initial infection, lesions or “pox” begin to spring up throughout the victim’s body. Looking first like acne, these small red spots called enanthem grow larger through time. They enlarge up to the point of bursting, through which more of the virus is spread throughout the body. Small pox is considered the only disease successfully eradicated from nature. Nevertheless, survivors still have to deal with scars and wounds left by the lesions.
Ever since 300 BC, human communities all over the world have been plagued with Hansen’s disease, otherwise known as leprosy. Though not as contagious as small pox, leprosy is easily transmittable.
The stigma lepers were forcibly endowed with not only came because the disease was readily transmittable. The sickness affected the peripheral nerves to disfiguring ends. Lepers were often identified by the various lesions and boils they had on their faces.
This may have led many to believe that leprosy was a sickness that ate away at the sufferer’s flesh, causing limbs and other body parts to fall off. In truth, however, this isn’t the case.
4. Necrotizing Fasciitis
There is one condition that could qualify as a flesh-eating sickness. Called necrotizing fasciitis, this sickness is caused when certain bacteria spreads through the layers of the skin. Commonly, group A streptococcus is found to be responsible for the disease.
This disfiguring disease is considered the most extreme symptom of lymphatic filariasis, another disease altogether. Lymphatic filariasis is caused by certain parasites and is often transmitted through mosquito bites. Most cases of lymphatic filariasis and elephantiasis occur in tropical regions.
In the movie “Mask” (1985), Eric Stoltz played “Rocky,” a teenager afflicted with a condition called neurofibromatosis. Mostly a genetic affliction, neurofibromatosis occurs when tumors grow from certain types of nerves to eventually affect the growth of non-nerve tissues such as bone and skin.
1. Proteus Syndrome
Joseph Merrick, widely known as the Elephant man, was once thought to be stricken with neurofibromatosis.
The syndrome causes an overgrowth of skin, bones, muscles, fatty tissue, and blood and lymphatic vessels, resulting in the overall disfigurement of the sufferer. The course of the disease is extremely random. Generally, however, children born with the disease do not immediately exhibit the symptoms. It is only through age that the deformities begin to manifest.
The overgrowth of bodily tissue isn’t deadly per se. However, most fatalities associated with the syndrome happen due to complications associated with the overgrowth. Merrick, for example, died when he suffocated under the weight of his deformed head.
Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?
There are loads of other diseases that can disfigure people’s appearances, but if the whole notion of beauty (or ugliness) is questioned, there’s some doubt as to whether these diseases would still be considered disfiguring. Think about it. Do appearances really matter?
Apart from the Top Ten Deadliest Diseases In The World, these diseases mar the beauty of the world more than the others. Some of them may need cosmetic surgery to correct, so visiting your nearest cosmetic surgery center may be called for.