A 26-year-old woman lost her youthful appearance in just a few days. Now, her appearance looks decades older, leaving doctors baffled. Nguyen Thi Phuong, of Vietnam, says she thinks her aged appearance is the result of an allergic reaction to seafood. After eating the meal in 2008, the skin over her entire face and body sagged and wrinkled over just a few days, according toYahoo! Lifestyle.
She has shown her face in public for the first time since it happened, causing her story to catch the attention of health experts around the world. There is much controversy over what might have triggered her rapid aging. Photos of Phuong taken just weeks apart look like two separate people.
After eating the seafood, Nguyen says “I was really itchy all over my body. I had to scratch even while sleeping.” Because she couldn’t afford the cost of a hospital exam, she began taking medication from a local pharmacy. “After one month of taking the drugs, I became less itchy but hives remained on my skin,” she says. Then, she switched to traditional medicines, which made the hives and itching disappear.
However, there was a downside. “My skin began to sag and fold,” she complains, “The skin on my face, chest and belly has folds like an old woman who has given birth several times although I have never had a child.” She says that the rapid aging seems limited to her skin; it doesn’t seem to have affected her eyes, teeth, hair, or mind.
Unfortunately, neither Nguyen nor her husband remember what the traditional medicine was or where they bought it. Now, doctors wonder whether her appearance is the result of a rare reaction to seafood, or a reaction to the medication she used to treat the itching. Doctors at Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital believe that Nguyen may have a severe case of mastocytosis, a skin disease.