Baby girl in India born without normal skin because of rare genetic illness

  • A woman from Amravati city delivered a baby girl with almost no normal skin at all
  • The unusual condition is due to a rare genetic illness called Harlequin ichthyosis
  • Harlequin ichthyosis is a severe genetic disorder that mainly affects the skin
  • The skin of a person suffering from the genetic disorder are very hard and thick instead of the normal ones

AMRAVATI, India – Doctors in a city in India was stunned by a baby girl who was born with almost no skin at all but beating all odds and keeps on surviving despite the very delicate condition.

Abigail O’Leary mentioned in her article for Mirror Co UK published on June 13 that a 23-year-old unidentified woman from the city of Amravati in central India’s Maharashtra State, delivered the baby girl by caesarean section at the Lata Mangeshkar Medical College and Hospital.

The attending physician of the baby girl said she was born with almost no normal skin at all due to a condition called Harlequin ichthyosis. The girl, who weighs 1.8 kilograms at birth, was the first child of the married couple.

Harlequin ichthyosis is a severe genetic disorder that mainly affects the skin; where the skin affected are very hard and thick instead of the normal ones.

The skin forms large, diamond-shaped plates that are separated by deep cracks, and which need constant treatment.

Dr. Yash Banait, the attending pediatrician of the baby, said the newborn will need lifelong treatment in order to moisturize her outer body.

“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,” Banait said.

The doctor said they are using a combination of petroleum jelly and coconut oil and giving the child a special nutritional supplement.

“We will be undertaking a 2D Echo investigation to ascertain the cardiac deformities or anomalies, if any,” the doctor said.

“The baby is not finding any difficulty in breathing and is now stable,” he added.

An article by Tabassum Barnagarwala for The Indian Express said the baby girl was born with two small holes for her nose, an inverted eyelid and without ears.

According to experts, Harlequin Ichthyosis can be detected in the fourth month of pregnancy through some tests. However, the baby’s family reportedly don’t have the financial capability to even do prenatal visit as they are earning below India’s poverty line.

As heartbreaking as it is, the doctor said there is no cure for this kind of disorder and all that medical science can do is try to keep the baby alive.