Mystery illness causes bizarre nail growth

Posted at 6:47 AM, Aug 10, 2012

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(CNN) — A mysterious illness is causing nails to grow out of a Tennessee woman’s face.

The illness came on after the woman suffered an allergic reaction to steroids used to control asthma.

Now, Shanyna Isom is the focus of a medical mystery study at the famed Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Pictures show the tiny fingernails growing in patches on Isom’s body.  

Doctors say she produces 12 times the number of skin cells per hair follicle, and that suffocates her skin.

Isom’s physicians are able to control her symptoms, but the disease is still a mystery, and one that has caused a financial crisis. 

She has a quarter of a million dollars in medical debt and her insurance doesn’t cover her out-of-state care or a dozen medications she needs to stay healthy.