Bizarre Side Effect of Chemo: Man's Eyelashes Grew Half an Inch and Curled

While examining the patient, the doctors observed the effect of the drug on his eyelashes
Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, colour, thickness, or curling alter. (Representational image: Pixabay)
Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, colour, thickness, or curling alter. (Representational image: Pixabay)

In a bizarre case, a Spanish man’s eyelashes were overgrown and curled as a side effect of his bowel cancer treatment.

This case was published in the medical journal JAMA Dermatology. According to the doctors, the patient underwent drug-induced trichomegaly, which caused his eyelashes to grow by half an inch and develop a dramatic curl. Dr. Laura Paz, of Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Ferrol, said that generally, it develops within the initial months of treatment and resolves when discontinued. The doctor also said that, if required, trimming the eyelashes is suggested to prevent misdirection of eyelashes. It can lead to ocular complications such as corneal erosions or ulcers.

Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, colour, thickness, or curling alter. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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The man suffered the side effect, which was caused by panitumumab, a chemotherapy drug. He underwent chemotherapy to treat his bowel cancer. According to the NHS, bowel cancer is a cancer that is found anywhere in the large bowel including the colon and rectum. In the UK, it is one of the most common types of cancer.

The chemotherapy drug panitumumab can cause skin issues in 80 percent of people and can affect hair texture and eyelashes. The patient visited the hospital complaining of severe acne on his chest and back. While examining the patient the doctors observed the effect of the drug on his eyelashes and diagnosed him with severe acneiform eruption and drug-induced trichomegaly.

According to the Mayo Clinic, chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. It is used to kill cancer cells. (Representational image: Unsplash)
According to the Mayo Clinic, chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. It is used to kill cancer cells. (Representational image: Unsplash)

The doctors prescribed him antibiotic pills, topical corticosteroids, and antifungals, which reduced the patient's acne. They also advised him to trim his eyelashes carefully. Usually, this condition is harmless, but it can cause the eyelashes to grow in the wrong direction towards the eyeball, which leads to damage to the outer layer of the eye and causes ulcers, vision loss, and blindness in severe cases.

Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, color, thickness, or curling alter. It can be caused by several factors, including illnesses such as HIV, genetic anomalies, and medications.

Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, colour, thickness, or curling alter. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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Chemotherapy

According to the Mayo Clinic, chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. It is used to kill cancer cells.

Side effects associated with chemotherapy are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, mouth sores, pain, constipation, bleeding, easy bruising, heart problems, kidney problems, nerve damage, infertility, and the risk of second cancer.

References:

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bowel-cancer/

  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/chemotherapy/about/pac-20385033#:~:text=Chemotherapy%20is%20a%20drug%20treatment,most%20cells%20in%20the%20body.

(Input from various sources) 

(Rehash/Lavanya Beeraboina/SB)

Trichomegaly is a rare disorder where the normal features of the eyelashes such as length, colour, thickness, or curling alter. (Representational image: Pixabay)
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