Meet a 87-year-old woman with a 13cm horn growing from her forehead, Sichuan, south west China.
Liang Xiuzhen suffers from a rare medical condition called cutaneous horn – an unusual skin tumor with the appearance of a horn, or sometimes of wood or coral. The cause of cutaneous horns is still unknown, but it is believed that exposure to radiation can trigger the condition.
The woman claims that the horn started growing from the area where she had a black mole that started itching and eventually split open. In just two years the growth has expanded to reach a total of 12,7 centimeters in length and 5cm in diameter and it’s still growing.
The tumor now resembles an animal horn in shape and colour. However, the skin around the horn is red raw and occasionally blood seeps through. Speaking about her condition, Liang Xiuzhen said: “At the moment it’s just painful. Sometimes it’s so painful it will wake me up from sleep.”
As the horn is composed of keratin, the same material found in fingernails, it can usually be removed with a sterile razor. Treatments vary, they can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.