July 10, 2020 | 7:40 PM IST
human snake

Rare genetic skin condition brands Odisha boy as ‘human snake’

A 10-year-old boy from Odisha has been branded as ‘human snake’ due to a rare genetic skin condition that makes the outer layer of the skin develop cracks resembling a snake’s slough and causes him to shed skin every month. The boy, Jagannath, from Ganjam district, is required to take a bath almost every hour and apply a lotion every three hours, which helps him keep his skin moisturized.

According to medical experts, the scales are a result of a congenital skin and incurable condition – Lamellar ichthyosis, which causes the skin to grow too fast, dry out, and shed. 
Jagannath’s situation is so chronic that he is now unable to walk properly or play around and uses a stick to spread out his limbs.
The boy’s father, Prabhakar Pradhan, is a paddy field labour said, “It pains my heart to see him suffer from this cursed disease. He has been suffering from it since childhood and there is no cure for it.”

Experts say that there is no cure for the condition and application of creams is recommended. However, there are some medications to prevent complications and improve the quality of life.

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