A 10-year-old boy is dubbed the ‘human snake’ as his skin is covered with thick scales.
Jagannath from India has been covered thick and large scales since he was born. The scales are caused by an extremely rare and incurable condition, which means he couldn’t shed old skin cells fast enough.
Because his skin is so dry, it is always flaking, another complication of the condition called lamellar itchyosis.
According to reports, Jagannath needs to bathe every hour and apply moisturizer numerous times a day to soothe his skin.
His dry skin has become so tight that he couldn’t walk properly, and he needs to use a stick to stretch out his limbs.
The young boy’s father, Prabhakar Pradhan, can’t afford the cost of treatment for his son. “My son has suffered this disease since childhood, and there is no cure for it.
“I do not have enough money to take him for a treatment and my heart breaks seeing him suffer with this cursed disease every day.”
Lamellar itchyosis affects less than 1 in 200,000 people. It is one of the 20 types of itchyosis, which is caused by a faulty gene and can either slow down or speed up the normal rate at which the skin rejuvenates.
The condition causes an accumulation of thick skin, which is likened to scales of a reptile or fish. It is apparent from birth, leaving infants covered in a tight film called collodion membrane.
People with the condition usually have plate-like scales covering their bodies for the rest of their lives. The scales are so tight that closing the eyes become difficult.
Babies are at risk of dehydration and infections as the skin barrier is weak. They may also have joint deformities, respiratory problems and hair loss because of the condition.
There is no cure for the condition and it can only be managed with medications and creams to alleviate the symptoms.
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