A teenager in Indonesia constantly puts moisturizer on his body because he suffers from a rare condition that causes his skin to shed like a snake.
Ari Wibowo, 16, was born with an inflammatory skin disease called Erythroderma, also known as “red man syndrome,” that causes the skin over almost the whole body to become scaly and flake off, according to the Daily Mail.
Wibowo sheds his skin every 41 days and must soak his body in water every hour, night and day, and apply lotion every three hours to stop it from drying out.
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He and his family have a routine of constant washing and dressing his skin with creams, India Today reports.
The condition has impaired Wibowo’s vision in his right eye, while the left has to be moistened often. Doctors informed his family they don’t have the resources to treat him.
“It’s really sad because he was not born normally and has scaly skin all over his body, similar to being severely burnt, from the sole of his feet up to his head,” photographer Nurcholis Anhari Lubis, 35, who has documented the boy’s condition, said.
“If the boy doesn't moisturize or soak his skin in water, his body would shrivel and harden up like a sculpture and he won't be able to move,” Lubis said. “If he leaves it unattended for too long, he won’t be able to speak because the wrinkles inside his mouth would go hard and it would dry out all his blood in his body.”
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According to Lubis, Wibowo has trouble making friends and schools will not accept him because they are afraid his illness is contagious. He takes lessons, but he has been forced to study alone.
It is believed that Wibowo’s mother tortured lizards while she was pregnant with him, Metro reports. According to Indonesian superstition, mistreatment of an animal during pregnancy causes the child to resemble the animal.