An Indian woman has given birth to a "plastic baby" girl with a rare genetic condition where her skin resembles that of a rubber doll. The baby, recently examined by doctors at the Guru Nanak Dev Medical College and Hospital, has become the center of attention in the city of Amritsar in Punjab state.
Statistics indicate the baby's condition, known as collodion, is very rare, affecting one in every six lakh (six in 100,000) newborns. Doctors said the baby has red eyes and lips, is unable to breast-feed, and reportedly cries whenever someone touches her. The Hindustan Times reported the little girl sheds skin like a reptile.
Dr. M.S. Pannu, the head of the pediatrics department at the hospital, confirmed the birth of the "plastic baby," who was brought to the hospital for consultation and treatment. He said the baby's chances of survival are slim.
"This is a kind of genetic disorder. It is due to mutation of certain genes and is usually an autosomal-recessive, congenital ichthyosis [scaly skin condition]. However, 10 percent of collodion babies have normal underlying skin -- a mild presentation known as "self-healing" collodion baby. The skin of this baby, like others born with this deformity, is very thick,” said Pannu, See and Say News reported.
Collodion babies are born with shiny, waxy, tight skin that looks like plastic and are generally premature. Some of the affected babies have normal skin underneath after they shed the outer skin in 15-30 days. Doctors said shedding of skin is a painful process, and such babies often are at risk of skin infections.
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