A baby recently born with fish-like scales in the U.K. is suffering what is apparently a rare genetic skin condition. The little girl’s mother thought her baby was dead when she was born, but it turns out she has a rare disorder called collodion.
Victims of the rare genetic disorder are born with a tight membrane surrounding their tiny bodies, covered with thick and dry, grey colored skin, which closely resembes fish scales or reptile skin.
However, within a couple of weeks of birth, the membrane falls off the baby, something similar to the way in which a snake sheds its skin.
According to the Mirror Online, Emily-Grace Frampton is now one month old and while she was born with fish-like scales, she has since shed the membrane. However, doctors fear that the condition might develop into ichthyosis, a longer-term and similar condition for which there is currently no cure.
Her mother, 29-year-old Natalie Davies, was shocked and upset when Emily-Grace was born with fish-like scales, as the doctors immediately took the baby away. She says she couldn’t stop crying as she thought her baby was dead.
“She looked very grey and I was worried she didn’t look alive.
At first they told us she had harlequin ichthyosis, which I knew about from watching a documentary, but now they’re not sure.
The doctors do not know what it will develop into until she starts to grow.”
It turns out the condition of being born with fish-like scales is genetic and that both the mother and her partner, Nathan Frampton, 32, are carriers. However, they already have a son together, 1-year-old Harry, who is fine.
“We didn’t know we were carriers and it came as a total shock.
When they first told us it was harlequin ichthyosis I was devastated and Nathan was really angry.
Now we are hoping it will get better as she gets bigger, but based on her condition now I think that’s unlikely.”
Natalie said that what she finds hardest of all is that Emily-Grace doesn’t smell like a new baby. She already has four children and said she knows how a new baby should smell. Those born with fish-like scales tend to smell completely different, apparently.
Meanwhile, Emily-Grace has to be bathed in a 50/50 oil and cream combination four times a day, and no conventional baby products can be used on her. Natalie said she cannot just change the baby’s diaper, she has to have all the various creams and products on hand, otherwise the baby’s skin could become very dry and flaky.
According to a support group, “The inherited forms of ichthyoses are usually evident at or soon after birth and they tend to persist throughout life, although some types may improve slightly with age.”
“The milder ichthyoses can be well controlled using regular moisturizers, that is bath oils, soap substitutes and moisturizing creams.
The severe forms may make affected babies quite unwell and treatment in special care baby units will help them get over their problems.”
In the meantime, Emily-Grace’s parents can only hope that things get no worse for their new baby.
As reported on the International Business Times, while this is a rare disorder, there have been some babies who are suffering a similar fate in India. There the babies born with fish-like scales are referred to as “collodion babies” or “plastic babies.” The video below talks more about the condition.
In almost as scary medical news, the Inquisitr recently reported on the fact that more than a third of American children are suffering high cholesterol levels due to poor diet choice.
[Image: CC by 2.0 sabianmaggy]