Doctors and researchers across the globe have been baffled by a medical condition that transformed the appearance of a 23-year-old Vietnamese woman into that of a 50-year-old within a few days.
Nguyen Thi Phuong has claimed her rapid aging effect took place within a few days, with the formation of skin folds on her face, chest, and belly.
To hide her appearance from prying eyes, Phuong is often found wearing a mask in public areas. She believes this affliction is due to an allergic reaction to seafood.
Her horrifying ordeal started in 2008, when she experienced severe itching sensations all over her body. This itchiness continued even during sleep. Following this, she started taking medicine from a local pharmacy. Due to her family's economic condition, however, she was unable to afford going to a hospital.
Gradually, her itchiness disappeared, leaving her with sagging, wrinkled skin all over her body. In fact, over the years, her condition seems to have deteriorated.
Despite all odds, her husband, a carpenter, has supported her at all times, stating that his love for her had not faded.
There has been a lot of speculation regarding her condition.
Some believe Phuong's condition has been caused by a rare syndrome called lipodystrophy wherein the fat tissue beneath the skin's surface disintegrates, while the skin itself continues to grow at a startling pace. The Telegraph in the U.K. has reported that this condition is rare, with about 2,000 sufferers among the 7 billion people in the world.
Others believe Phuong might be suffering from mastocytosis, an incurable disorder caused by the presence of too many mast cells in the tissues, the Thanh Nien News in Vietnam has reported.
Take a look at Phuong and her mysterious condition in the pictures below.