A 10-year-old girl could be the first female in the world to become afflicted by the so-called ‘tree man syndrome’.
Sahana Khatun, from Bangladesh, developed a bark-like wart on her face four months ago, which has now spread.
But doctors fear Sahana may be suffering from epidermodysplasia verruciformis – a rare genetic disease that produces scaly, bark-like growths which particularly affect the hands and feet.
So far only men are believed to have been struck by the disease.
Her worried dad said: “We are very poor. My daughter lost her mother when she was only six.
“I really hope that the doctors will remove the barks from my beautiful daughter’s face.”
The skin disorder can be highly debilitating, leaving sufferers consumed by heavy growths which make it hard for people to move.
However, doctors are hopeful that Sahana may have a less aggressive version of the illness and should be able to recover quickly.