Woman ages 50 years in just a few days
Ben Tre, Vietnam
October 14, 2011 11:17 am EDT
Human Interest, People, Human Mishap, Health, Medical Conditions
Nguyen Thi Phuong has doctors bewildered, baffled and dumbfounded by a strange condition that has made the 26-year-old woman age an apparent 50 years over just a few days.
The once young, vibrant and pretty woman's story began in 2008 when over the course of just a few days her skin began to sag and wrinkle over her entire body, making her look like a septuagenarian. The woman now wears masks in public to hide her appearance.
Some medical experts say the condition is lipodystrophy, a rare syndrome that causes layers of fatty tissue beneath the skin's surface to disintegrate while the skin itself continues to grow at a rapid pace. The conditions leaves its victims with wrinkled skin all over their body and leaves them looking decades older than their actual age.
There is no cure for this very rare condition that affects an estimated 2,000 people worldwide.
Phuong believes the condition was brought on by a reaction to seafood in 2008. She says the rapid aging syndrome has not affected her menstrual cycle, hair, eyes or teeth. Her carpenter husband Nguyen Than Tuyen says his love for her has not faded. Phuong adds it is his love that keeps her persevering.
Doctors from Nguyen Dinh Chieu Hospital examined Phuong on Oct. 2 for free and promised to send her to the HCMC Dermatology Hospital if they could not diagnose her condition.
Since going public with her story, local doctors have been weighing in on the situation. Some say Phuong suffers from side effects of too much steroid medication.
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