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The Top 10 Most Gruesome Diseases

Number 10: Lymphatic Filariasis

Probably the most familiar disease on the list is Lymphatic Filariasis, more commonly known as elephantiasis. Caused by a parasitic worm that causes pain and swelling of the extremities and genitals. The earlier the disease is caught, the greater the chance of putting a stop to it. In severe cases the patient’s limbs start looking like they are inflated elephant skin, and it usually is only on one side of the body, with other side appearing normal.

Number 9: Argyria

Argyria is caused by being exposed to silver. Either via silver dust or by the chemical compounds of silver. The patient will turn blue and/or a blue-gray color. Skin and mucous membranes can also be affected.

Number 8: Polydactyly

Also known as hyperdactyly, is a congenital physical anomaly in humans, dogs, and cats. People suffering from this disease have an extra finger or toe. Polydactyly is the opposite of oligodactyly, where they are missing a digit. I’m not sure which is worse.

Number 7: Progeria

The word Progeria actual means ‘old age’ or ‘premature, and people infected with this extremely rare genetic disorder start to become old way before their time. Normally living to their mid teens, people suffering from Progeria can be diagnosed as early as a couple months. Within the first year, symptoms start to show such as loss of hair, small face, and recessed jaw.

Number 6: Hypertrichosis

Those suffering from this disease become covered in excessive body hair. It can be congenital or it can develop later in life. The 1st documented case was in 1648. Before modern medicine people would just live with it, shunned by society and sold to freak shows. Now people can undergo permanent laser hair removal.

Number 5: Neurofibromatosis

This is a nasty genetic disorder of the nervous system that primarily affect the development and growth of cell tissues. These disorders cause tumors to grow on nerves and produce other abnormalities such as skin changes and bone deformities.

Number 4: Leprosy

Leprosy manifests itself slowly, with ulcers appearing on the skin and growing until victims appear to be rotting away. People afflicted by this disease lose their fingers, toes, and even their nose, leaving behind a nightmarish face with ragged holes in the middle. For centuries people suffering from leprosy have been exiled to where colonies still exist even today.

Number 3: Tree Bark Skin Disease

Imagine having your entire body covered in warts. A form of HPV, many warts develop and the skin starts looking like bark. The sight of a person with this disease is terrifying. There’s no cure and often when the huge growths are removed they quickly are replaced by more.

Number 2: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans is referred to as ‘Stone Man Syndrome’, the body heals muscles, ligaments, and tendons by calcifying them. There is no cure and surgery to remove the calcified parts causes even more calcification. In worst case scenario the patient turns to stone and becomes bedridden. The disease is caused by a rare mutation in the body’s repair center. Stone Man Disease has solidified itself as the #1 Weirdest Disease in the World.

Number 1:

The number one worst human physical condition is called Necrotizing Fasciitis. Commonly known as flesh-eating disease, flesh-eating bacteria or flesh-eating bacteria syndrome. It’s hard to look at victims of this flesh deteriorating disease for obvious reasons... The deteriorating flesh. This is a very rare infection that affects the deepest layer of the skin and tissue and spreads quickly through the face and other limbs. With a simple glance at these pictures, it’s obvious why they make the number one on our countdown of worst human physical conditions.

Time for the question of the day:

From elephantites to a flesh eating disease, these diseases are thankfully quite rare. Are you aware of any other diseases that are just as bad, or even worse than these horrid infections? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

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Music by Kevin MacLeod (,
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0