Young Vietnamese Woman Mysteriously Ages Overnight

Nguyen Thi Phuong is only 26, but judging by her wrinkled and saggy skin, you could easily mistake her for a 70-year-old.

The young woman from Vietnam suffered an allergic reaction in 2008, and after taking some prescribed medication  the skin her face, hands and body started to wrinkle and become saggy, giving her the appearance of an old lady. It all started after Thi Phuong ate some seafood. It gave her such a bad rash that she used to scratch even in her sleep, so to alleviate the symptoms, her husband, Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, bought her some medication. It didn’t work, so she visited a local doctor who prescribed pills for dermatitis, which only made things worse, causing her face to swell up and hives to erupt all over her skin. She stopped taking them after a week and put her hopes in some Chinese practitioners in her town, in the Giong Trom district of Vietnam’s Ben Tre province. They cured her itching and hives, but her skin was becoming saggy.


Nguyen Thi Phuong’s condition wasn’t getting any better, and although she was given medication for symptoms, it also made her put on weight, and because it was too expensive, VND30,000 ($1.88) a day, she stopped taking it. After Thi Phuong’s 34-year-old husband quit his job to take care of her, in 2009, the couple quickly ran out of money and instead of treating her condition, she started looking at it as a fate from God, and stopped taking any medication. As her condition worsened, people began having a hard time recognizing her and mistook  her for an old lady, until they heard her voice.

Photo by Talk Vietnam

Photos of the 26-year-old reveal she was a beautiful woman just a few years ago, but now her skin is that of a seventy-year-old. Although she has never given birth, the skin on her stomach is so saggy it looks like she has delivered three babies. But, despite her appearance, Nguyen Thi Phuong has stood by her side ever since the ordeal started and says he still loves his wife.

Photo by Tuoy Tre

Many doctors have speculated over the mysterious condition of the young Vietnamese woman, but experts have yet to properly identify what caused this overnight-aging of her skin. Doctor Mai The Trach, former chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Endocrine Association, says she only looks old, but her internal organs don’t show any signs of aging, and her hair and postures are those of a young woman. Theories regarding her disease include medicinal poisoning, allergy to certain medications and the overuse of medicines with corticoid. Others believe she may be suffering from a genetic or endocrine disorder, and Hoang Van Minh, head of dermatology at the Ho Chi Minh City University Medical Centre thinks Nguyen Thi Phuong has cutaneous mastocytosis.

Photo by Tuoy Tre

After the story broke out in the Vietnamese media, many medical experts have offered to help Nguyen Thi Phuong, three hospitals in Ho Chi Minh offered her consultations, and a soap-making company has offered to pay for her consultations and treatment, even if they require her to travel overseas. It will be giving Phuong and her husband VND50 million ($2,400) for now.

via Asia One

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