Friday, February 4, 2011

British girl, 5, sheds her 'snakeskin' every day

Five-year-old Annabelle Whitehouse was born with skin that's red, dry and scaly — and every day, she sheds every piece of it.

"It's like snakeskin, that sheds and comes off," her mother, Sonia Whitehouse, told TODAY. The Whitehouses live in an English town called Sutton Coldfield.

Annabelle has a condition called ichthyosis, a term that gets its name from the Greek word for fish — a reference to the scaly look and feel that the genetic skin disorder causes. Annabelle's skin would thicken and harden — like scales — from head to toe, if her parents didn't exfoliate her every night and apply thick creams and special bandages onto her skin several times a day. Her hands and face require a new coat of lotion every half hour.

Most of us shed a layer of skin every two weeks, but Annabelle loses a layer once a day. Her red, constantly shedding skin means Annabelle has to deal with stares and rude questions from strangers. Her mother remembers a taxi driver who once "asked me if I put her in the microwave oven. So, a little insensitive." ...

via British girl, 5, sheds her 'snakeskin' every day - TODAY Health -

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