Nominations for "Most Hideous Disease"? (WARNING, TMI, gross-out, etc)

For starters, if you opened this thread thinking “I’ll just take a peek, it can’t be that bad,” Don’t. Read another thread, mow the lawn, do ANYTHING but read any father. And WHATEVER you do, DON’T click on the links. Trust me.

That being said…
I’m working on a list of the most horrible diseases or conditions suffered by humanity, and I need a few more suggestions. And not just ones that are fatal, I’m talking about the aesthetically displeasing ones. The creepy ones. The major “Aaaagh!” factor ones.

The first two contenders are: Tapeworm infestation…of the brain. Which, at the very least, is easily treatable.

The other is a condition which, although I’ve heard of it on the discovery channel and similar sources, I can’t find the name of. It’s a genetic disorder in which the connective tissues turn to bone. Does anyone remember the name of that one?
Well, thanks for your time, and I deeply apologize in advance,

Rectal prolapse.

no lie.

How about this one.

Leprosy. The thought of your body rotting away while you’re still alive is the creepiest thing I know.

This site contains some of the best contenders. Dracunculiasis (with pictures) looks horrible. If you make it to the bottom of the page, why not check out Leprosy, Smallpox, Rabies or some of the other more exotic complaints?


Like internal leprosy on fast-forward.

Your mystery disease mentioned in the OP was FOP:

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva! I did a huge reasearch paper on that last year. Very interesting stuff.

And while not hideous, is there anything more terrifying than losing your mind, like Alzheimer’s disease?

Or ALS. Your mind is fully functional as you watch your body slowly deteriorate.

(Stephen Hawking’s long survival–and I wish him many more years–is very uncharacteristic.)

There’s some pretty nasty stuff at

Yeah, ALS is pretty bad–I watched my mom die of it. The one that really creeps me out is the “flesh-eating disease”. I had the bad luck to find pictures of it on the web <shudder>.

The graphic descriptions of the effects of Ebola in the book “The Hot Zone” pretty much grossed me out…

Theres harlequin ichthyosis. I can’t think of anything more “aesthetically displeasing”, as you say, than that.

From my web site:


Holy crap.

That’s terrible…I suppose it’s good that they die soon though…I can’t imagine having to live with that.

wdcsmwscaa, I don’t remember the source (bad yBeayf!), but I read somewhere that the longest a child had lived with harlequin ichthyosis was around 4 years. If the child doesn’t die within the first few days after birth, the hard keratin plates slough off and leave behind raw dermis.

Whatever it was that the Elephant Man had. I saw a special on it once, and they had a bunch of people with it. I know this sounds nasty, but I was so grossed out by this one guy. EEEEWWWW

Oh my freaking God, Beelzebubba…wow that is disturbing.

Oh man, that crap looks fake. That is so frickin’ weird. Those babies look like aliens. Now I’m scared! What if my future children have that shit?

yBeayf– Do you happen to remember what happens with the eyes? that seems to be a very pressing problem in some of the cases…

My 6th grade teacher’s husband was a pediatrician. She had a book of his that showed pictures of nearly every birth defect and abnormality known. She wouldn’t let us look at too many of the pictures, because she said most of them were downright disturbing and would scare us out of ever having any kids.
The one I remember best had a name somewhat like cyclops, this probably due to the fact that its two eyes were so close, they fused together in an oval shaped lump. Its nose was on its forehead like a work of Picasso. The lungs weren’t fully developed and it was unable to breath oxygen so it died shortly after birth.
So I decided that maybe the teacher was right. Perusing the rest of the book might not have been the best decision.

DoctorJ, that sure was a hairy situation. I’m glad you had the cajones to be able to (ad)dress him in a respectiful manner. At least you only had three patients and didn’t have to deal with four near yourself.