Ripped From the Headlines:

Wart Man from "Gray's Anatomy"


The doting house staff of "Gray's Anatomy" welcome new patients...
...with no judgement...
..no matter their appearance?
 
In the Fall of 2010, the program “Gray’s Anatomy” aired an episode with the cruel title “Superfreak.”   Character actor Art Chudabala pulls up to the hospital with his wife, eliciting gasps and exclamations from the usually calm and reserved medical residents.  His is the extremely rare appearance of wart viruses run amuck. 
 

Nobody likes warts, but many are plagued for a time by one, a few or even 20 of these viral growths.  Potentially contagious, affecting embarrassing areas like the hands, face or (Nooooooooooo!) the groin, the burdensome bumps can linger for months or years.  Only when the person’s immune system fully recognizes the presence of the viral intruder is the infection cleared.  Yet little do these patients realize how much work their immune cells are already performing.  That they are lucky not to look like this...

 

Or this...Images of an actual man...
...with many warts...
...and stick-like growths called "cutaneous horns."

Though created with prosthetic makeup, the TV drama's character is based on an actual case, the “Tree Man” from Indonesia.  As seen on the Discovery Channel and CNN, this unfortunate individual is missing the crucial element of his immune system to control the viral infection.  In these actual unaltered pics, one can see hundreds of lesions.  Particularly debilitating are the large, so-called cutaneous horns growing from his hands. 

Like the “Tree Man,” the character in “Anatomy” underwent massive surgical procedures to clear and remove many of the disfiguring warts, especially the cutaneous horns.  Every day dermatologists use scalpels, liquid nitrogen sprays and lasers to ultimately help stimulate a successful immune response.  The fact that the overwhelming majority of us can ultimately clear these types of warts proves our immune systems are working hard after all.


Runner-up, Ripped From The Headlines:
Bed Bugs on "Bored to Death"

 In the second season of this HBO comedy, magazine publisher Ted Danson develops a groin rash (not shown) that his doctor diagnoses as bed bug bites. Always hungry for a new epidemic to sell papers, the media in 2010 focused on bed bugs. These pesky night biting critters give patients the heebie jeebies, but are quite treatable by exterminators. A little Valium might help as well...


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