An Indian boy, 10, has been branded ‘human snake’ because of a skin disease that has led to him having scales all over his body.
The boy, known only by the name Jagannath, had his skin covered in thick scales from a very young age.
The dry scales he has are the result of an incurable condition caused by a complicated disorder, lamellar itchyosis, which slows down the process of shedding old skin cells.
Watch to learn more about this boy’s condition below!
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According to the locals, Jagannath has to take bath every hour and coat himself in moisturizer to help soothe his skin that pains and itches to an unbearable level.
The boy cannot even walk straight due to his extremely tight skin and has to use a stick to stretch his limbs.
Prabhakar Pradhan, the boy’s father, is a poor laborer and has not enough money to afford the treatment of his son.
The family lives in Eastern India in the Ganjam district. Pradhan said: “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.”
The rare condition Jagannath suffers from affects less than one in 200,000 people. It is one of the 20 types of ichthyosis.
Ichthyosis is a genetic disorder that leads to stunned or increased skin growth in the affected individual.
Both of the cases result in a buildup of skin mass on the body that appears like the scales of fish or reptiles.
Lamella ichthyosis, the disease affecting Jagannath is apparent at birth and leaves the infant covered in a transparent film known as the collodion membrane.
A few weeks following birth, the membrane falls off and leaves the skin red and painted in large scales.
Generally, the people suffering from lamellar ichthyosis have the scales on their bodies for their whole life. In extreme cases, these can be so tight as to make closing the eyes hard for the affected person.
No permanent treatment for the disease exists and only symptomatic treatment is used to release the pain and dryness.
A dermatologist anonymously gave a statement about the disease, saying: “This disease is not treatable, although some doctors say there is a cure.”