Meet the boy who sheds skin after 41 days

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salome

Senior Villager
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Ari Wibowo, a 16-year -old Indonesian
boy sheds his skin like a snake every
41 days and must constantly smear
his body with moisturiser to stop it
hardening and seizing up.
The teenager has a rare skin
condition that doctors in Indonesia
have been unable or unwilling to
treat and which has left him with an
extraordinary appearance .
He suffers from Erythroderma, an
inflammatory skin disease also known
as ‘ red man syndrome’, that causes
the skin over almost the entire body
to become scaly and flake off .
Ari must soak his body in water
every hour – night and day – and
smear himself with lotion every three
hours to prevent drying out .
Photographer Nurcholis Anhari Lubis ,
35, has documented the little boy ’s
condition as part of an essay project
and describes the boy ’s skin
condition as “scaly like a snake
about to shed his skin” .
“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 . If the boy
doesn’t moisturise or soak his skin in
water, his body would shrivel and
harden up like a sculpture and he
won’t be able to move ,” Mr Lubis
told Daily Mail Australia .
“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 ”.
Mr Lubis said Ari’ s family were told
by doctors at the hospital where he
was born that it did not have the
resources to treat the condition, and
asked them to take the infant away.
He and his family now live by a
routine of constant washing and
dressing his skin with creams . Still,
the boy is trying to live a normal life
in his village .
“He eats normal food like everyone
else and his favourite snacks are
instant noodles and crackers . He had
trouble making friends when he was
younger and would often go and play
with the other kids but most of the
time, they would avoid him because
he is different to everyone else,” Mr
Lubis said.
Ari is taking lessons, but is forced to
study alone because of ignorance
about his condition in the
community.
Mr Lubis said many people blame
Ari’ s condition on a superstition that
if a woman mistreats animals while
she is pregnant then it will affect
her unborn child .
Some people believe Ari’ s mother
“tortured a lizard” she found in the
family home when she was pregnant
with Ari.
Ari has trouble talking because of
the condition and the vision in his
right eye is impaired , while the left
must be kept moist with constant
drops.
 
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