Life isn’t easy for these two girls, Stacey and Emma Picken from the UK as they were born with a rare skin disorder, Harlequin Ichthyosis. Their skin grows six times faster than an average individual.
Even in India, a case was reported on 21st January 2017, when a woman who gave birth to a child with Harlequin Ichthyosis refused to accept her. She even refused to feed the child when they brought her home and said: “I have no idea how did this happen. Me and family are completely devastated. I am in shock as I was really looking forward to becoming a mother of a healthy child, be it a girl or a boy.”
So, what is Harlequin Ichthyosis?
Harlequin Ichthyosis, a genetic disorder causes thickened skin over the entire body. In this rare form of skin disorder, an individual must inherit two recessive genes from both the parents.
Till now, there isn’t any cure for this severe form in which the skin cracks and splits apart.
Signs and Symptoms:
According to Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types, the below-denoted points are the symptoms of Harlequin Ichthyosis:
- The infant may be covered with thick skin with distorted facial structure.
- The tightness of the skin pulls around the eyes and the mouth, forcing the eyelids and lips to turn inside out, revealing the red inner linings.
- The child may suffer from breathing and eating difficulties. The hands and feet may be small, swollen, and partially flexed.
Facts about Harlequin Ichthyosis:
- Harlequin Ichthyosis is caused by genetic mutation and it’s not contagious.
- Sunburn and Poor bathing habits are not a cause of this disorder.
- Each year, more than 16,000 babies are born with some form of Ichthyosis.
- Although people with Ichthyosis have difficulties, they live a normal life.