Fashion

Beautician Diagnosed with "Unknown Condition" After Fingernails Grow Out of Hair Follicles -- All Over Her Body

In today's example of bizarre medical mysteries and reasons to be totally thankful you just have a hangnail comes the "unknown condition" of Shanyna Isom.

The 28-year-old beautician suffered an asthma attack last year and was pumped full of steroids. And then she had an allergic reaction that caused dark scabs to grow all over her body. Doctors thought she was having a staph infection, but results came back negative. She's seen specialists from all over the world, been treated for eczema, allergic reactions, and vitamin deficiencies, and has been given only one solid diagnosis:

She's the only person in the world suffering from an extreme surplus of that causes her body to produce fingernails instead of hair.

"It has taken all of my hair out and has left my body with scabs all over it, plus I have lost about 200 pounds," she writes on her blog, Pray for Shanyna. "Two years ago, I was a healthy woman on my own ... had big dreams and goals that I was following until one day my body completely shut down on me."

According to her blog, doctors at John Hopkins have determined that her body was producing 12 times the normal amount of skin cells in each hair follicle, which rapidly condensed into the equivalent of human nails.

Isom is currently undergoing treatment in Maryland and has started the S.A.I. Foundation to help individuals with mystery illnesses. Bank of America representatives say donations are being accepted in her name at any of their branch offices to cover more than $500,000 in medical bills.

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton