A man in India had to have a large horn-like growth removed from the top of his head after it grew there for years.

Shyam Lal Yadav hurt his head in 2014 and noticed that a growth had started to emerge from the top of his head.

Initially Shyam had the growth trimmed by his barber as it was not causing him any discomfort.

But things became more serious when the 74-year-old noticed that the growth was beginning to harden into a horn-like structure.

Noticing this Shyam, from the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh, decided to seek help from surgeons.

Shyam Lal Yadav sought medical help over the growth. (SWNS)
Shyam Lal Yadav sought medical help over the growth. (SWNS)

The growth turned out to be something called a sebaceous horn, a growth formed out of compacted keratin which protrudes from the skin.

Keratin is a substance which makes up our hair, nails, and skin, and is also found commonly in nature in beaks, feathers, and yes, in the horns of some animals such as rhinos.

It is not known precisely what causes the growths in humans, but they are generally more common in older patients.

While they can occur anywhere on the body, they tend to occur more on areas which are frequently exposed to sunlight such as the head or shoulders.

Surgeon Dr Vishal Gajbhiye treated the condition at Bhagyoday Tirth Hospital in Sagar, Madhya Pradesh.

Dr Gajbhiye said: “Around five years ago the patient had hurt his head after which a lump started growing.

"Initially, he ignored it as it did not cause any discomfort. Also, he got the growth cut by the local barber.

"But, when the lump hardened and started growing further, he approached the hospital at Sagar.

“In medical term, this type of rare growth is called sebaceous horn (devil’s horn).

"As the horn is composed of keratin, the same material found in fingernails, the horn can usually be removed with a sterile razor.

Surgeons were able to remove the growth and graft skin on top. (SWNS)
Surgeons were able to remove the growth and graft skin on top. (SWNS)

"However, the underlying condition will still need to be treated."

While the growth itself can be removed, it can also be indicative of a malignant tumour in the body.

Dr Gajbhiye explained: "The sebaceous horns are predominantly benign lesions however the possibility of malignant potential should always be kept in mind.

"Treatments vary, but they can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

"Immediately after its removal, skin was grafted on the wound which has now healed completely."

Following the surgery Shyam spent ten days recovering in hospital, with a biopsy of the growth showing it to be harmless.

Growths such as this are rare, and a report of the case was sent to the International Journal of Surgery.

Credit Unilad