'Tree Man' Faces New Battle as 'Branches' Begin to Regrow

Dede Koswara, the Indonesian man known to the world as "Tree Man," is once again battling woody growths that are threatening to cover his body.

Having been largely freed from what doctors said was an extreme case of the sexually transmitted disease human pappilomavirus (HPV), Dede's life began returning to normal after surgery in August. He was diagnosed by American dermatologist, Dr. Anthony Gaspari.

He first made headlines around the world in 2007, when shocking pictures emerged of the mysterious Indonesion man who appeared to be covered in bark. He was also the subject of a documentary on the Discovery Channel.

It took almost two years for doctors to diagnose "Tree Man" with a rare genetic problem that robbed him of the ability to fight HPV.

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases and is said to be the cause of the majority of cases of cervical cancer in women. There are different strains of HPV, one of which causes warts. It's believed that Dede's bark-like covering was caused by an out of control case of these warts.

In August, Dede returned home and began rebuilding his life after doctors removed more than 13 pounds of warts.

After the surgery, Dede's hands — once an indistinguishable mass of scales — were able to once again hold a cell phone and a fishing pole.

But now, just four months after leaving hospital, Dede spoke to Metro.co.uk of his dismay to find the warts were fighting back.

"Those (warts) that were removed are growing again and started to reappear after I returned home," he said from his home in the West Java village of Tanjung Jaya. "I'm not desperate but I want to recover."

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