Rare dermal conditions make 26-year-old woman age 50 years: doctors

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Vietnamese doctors said Monday a 26-year-old woman, who looks like she is in her 70s, is the second patient in the world to have two rare dermal conditions, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

Nguyen Thi Phuong of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre was diagnosed with cutis laxa a group of rare connective tissue disorders in which the skin becomes inelastic and hangs loosely in folds - and mastocytosis - a group of rare disorders caused by the presence of too many mast cells in a person's body.

On Monday, Dr Hoang Van Minh of HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital, told Tuoi Tre that skin sample results sent to Baylor University based in Texas, United States, confirmed Phuong has the two conditions.

The HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University Hospital conducted the last consultation on Phuong's case, which has attracted much public attention in the past few months. She has been in the news since early October when local media showed photos of her looking 50 years older than she really is.

Minh said mastocytosis is very rare, affecting only two per 330,000 people in the world.

Phuong is the second patient in the world to have mastocytosis combined with cutis laxa, he added.

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Phuong said she started aging three years ago after taking medicine she bought at a local pharmacy to cure her allergy to seafood. At that time, there were assumptions that the abuse of anti-allergy drugs led to the rapid aging process.

She was admitted to the hospital on October 7; at that time, Vietnamese doctors diagnosed her with mastocytosis. She was provided with treatments for the disease. Doctors say her condition has since improved.

Phuong will be treated for an additional two to three months before doctors use aesthetic methods to help her face look younger, Minh said.

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