Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. “The Human Tree of Java”

One of the weirdest and rarest medical condition in the history is what doctors termed as Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis (EV), Lewandowsky-Lutz Dysplasia, “Tree Man Syndrome”.

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java"You may have seen photos of Debe Koswara, the Indonesian man with hands and feet that resemble tree bark. His bizarre condition got him the nickname “The Human Tree of Java.”

The “Tree Man Syndrome” is a lifelong and recessive genetic disorder of the immune system. This looks like a tree bark growing onto someone’s skin that is actually, a wart-like lesion that is exacerbated by some exposure to sunlight

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java"What is actually covering Koswara are warts that started growing on him when he was 15 after he got a cut on his leg. Doctors found the growths were caused by the HPV virus, and because of Koswara’s extremely weak immune system his body was unable to contain the warts.

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java"These warts are caused of the mutation of EVER1/EVER2genes. EV is mostly caused by an unusual susceptibility to infection with specific types of human papillomavirus.

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java"For 25 years Koswara, he is unable to use his hands, walk without pain, or even eat by himself. His wife of ten years left him to take care for their two children, and Koswara was unable to work. Although the extended family offered to help, he was only able to work at a “freak show” in order to support himself.

Treatments can be non-surgical or surgical. Non-surgical method can be oral and topical retinoids, interferon, immunotherapy, electrodesiccation and cryotherapy however these methods are ineffective and give temporary results.

Surgical method is considerably more effective. This treatment executes complete excision and reconstruction of the affected areas in the body of the patient.

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java" In 2008, a documentary was created about the strange condition, with the medical name “Epidermodysplasia verruciformis.” That same year Koswara went into surgery to remove over four pounds of the warts, which finally allowed him to move and eat by himself.

After the procedure, he stated,

What I really want first is to get better and find a job. But then, one day, who knows? I might meet a girl and get married.”

Sadly, the warts started growing back again months after he left the hospital.

Meet Debe Koswara, a.k.a. "The Human Tree of Java"

Koswara continues to see a doctor for his condition, and he would need to get surgery about twice a year to keep off the warts.

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