Monday, October 17, 2011

Rare Disease Causes 26-Year-Old To Age Decades

A 26-year-old woman in Vietnam is believed to suffer from an extremely rare disease that causes her skin to age rapidly. The Telegraph in London reported the story on Friday, saying Nguyen Thi Phuong began to age rapidly in 2008 after she had an allergic reaction to seafood and took some medicine she bought from a pharmacy. "I was really itchy all over my body. I had to scratch even while sleeping," Phoung tells The Telegraph. "Then I switched to traditional medicine and all the hives disappeared, together with my itching. However, my skin began to sag and fold." What exactly is afflicting Phoung is unknown, however some have argued she could have a condition called lipodystrophy, which causes a layer of fatty tissue beneath the skin to disintegrate, while the skin itself continues to grow rapidly.
Nguyen Thi Phuong at age 21, before her mystery illness, and age 26, after she appeared to age by decades
According to the Telegraph, the condition has no cure and leaves sufferers with loose folds of skin all over their body. The woman, the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, says while the skin all over her body has aged, her teeth, eyes, mind and menstrual cycle remain in youthful condition. Phoung has worn a mask over her face since 2008, when her skin first began to sag. She is married, and says the unconditional love from her husband has been her strength throughout her ordeal.