Parents in Spain started panicking this summer when 17 children and babies mysteriously came down with hypertrichosis, or “werewolf syndrome,” a condition in which their bodies and faces became covered in a dense layer of hair, according to news reports.
“My boy’s forehead, cheeks, arms, legs and hands filled with hair. He had an adult’s eyebrow,” Ángela Selles, the mother of 6-month-old baby Uriel, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “It was very scary because we didn’t know what was happening,” Selles said.
At first, parents and doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Was it genetic? A metabolic disorder? On Wednesday (Aug. 28), the Spanish Health Ministry finally announced that it had discovered the root of the problem. In a pharmaceutical mix-up, babies across Spain had been inadvertently dosed with a medication for alopecia, or hair loss.