A baby girl has been born with an extremely rare condition which has left her without any external body skin.
The poor baby was born by Cesarean section to a 23-year old woman from the Indian city of Amravati at the Lata Mangeshkar Medical College and Hospital, in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
The baby girl was reportedly born with two small holes for her nose, an inverted eyelid and no ears. The girl weighed 1.8kgs and is reported as being the first child of the married couple.
Her condition is believed to be India’s first known case of Harlequin Ichthyosis – a severe genetic disorder which leaves the entire body encased in armour-like thick white plates, separated by deep cracks.
Doctors at the Lata Mangeshkar Medical College and Hospital, said she was born with the congenital disorder which would mean the baby will need lifelong treatment to moisturize her outer body daily.
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Paediatrician Dr. Yash Banait, said they were using petroleum jelly and coconut oil and giving the child a special nutritional supplement.
Dr. Banait says there is no cure for this disorder. All that medical science can do is try to keep the baby alive. “There is no skin on the body, so skin grafting is not a possibility. But the baby hasn’t developed any breathing problems lest she would have required to be kept on ventilation.”
The baby will undertake a 2D Echo investigation to ascertain if she has any cardiac deformities or anomalies. Thankfully, Dr. Banait says the baby is not finding any difficulty in breathing and is now stable.
Tests to determine if Harlequin Ichthyosis is present will also be carried out on the baby. Detecting the condition can usually be done in the fourth month of pregnancy, with doctors advising a termination as the kindest option.
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Harlequin Ichthyosis, which affects approximately 1 in 300,000 births, requires intensive care at birth.