Cindrella Rapunzel Sleeping Beauty Not old time princesses but new age medical disorders
news Health Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 16:48

A day after doctors surgically removed a clump of hair from a teenager’s stomach in Chennai on Wednesday, there has been much talk among the masses about Rapunzel Syndrome.  Both the syndrome and its name have drawn much scrutiny due to the peculiar nature of the disease.

 TNM brings you a couple of more such syndromes that fall under the ‘Princess (disease) Diaries’:

Rapunzel Syndrome

 A rare disorder that is mostly seen in women, the Rapunzel Syndrome has patients pull out their hair because of stress or nervousness.  In some cases, they develop a taste for the root of the hair or the hair itself and begin to eat the same.

Only 120 cases have been recorded in medical history till date. Since hair cannot be digested, it accumulates in the abdomen, thereby causing severe stomach ache and vomiting that in rare cases lead to surgery.

Those suffering from the syndrome require medical treatment and psychological counselling.

Scientific name: Trichophafgia

Cinderella Dermatosis

 A skin disease, according to, wherein the affected person finds ash-grey patches on the extremities of his/her body. This includes palms, buttocks and scalp.

The term originates from its analogy with the fairy tale character Cinderella who got her name by sitting all alone at home by the fireplace, and subsequently was covered in ash most of the time.

Scientific name: Erythema Dyschromicum Perstans

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome

This rare sleep disorder is characterized by excessive sleep, altered behaviour and a reduced understanding of the world. Patients reportedly sleep between 12 to 24 hours a day, waking up only to eat and to use the bathroom.

Even during wakefulness, they experience symptoms such as disorientation, hallucination and lethargy. People are usually diagnosed with the syndrome in their developing years. The exact prevalence of this syndrome is unknown but according to, it affects one n a million.

The syndrome takes after yet another fairy tale heroine Snow White who slips into a coma-like state, after she takes a bite of a poisoned apple. 

Scientific name: Kleine–Levin syndrome

(Main image courtesy: Clockwise from top - Sleeping Beauty via, Cindrella, Rapunzel via 

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