Bethan-May Slater’s body is covered with more than 100 black and blue lesions and it looks like someone has been beating her, the Daily Mail reported Thursday.
But it’s a rare condition called glomuvenous malformation that’s causing the 9-year-old’s bruising.
“I have been accused of hitting her by strangers,” Jacqui Slater, 44, of Peterborough in Cambs, England, told the newspaper. “Some people think she’s contagious or has been in an accident. They just don’t understand.”
The girl’s condition is so rare that only 60 people around the world have it. Bethan-May was born with the condition and had lesions on her head, chest, leg and foot. She was diagnosed at the age of 2.
The lesions produce scars, which will never heal, and Bethan-May may lose her sight because she has lesions behind her eyes. She takes 12 pills everyday to combat the disease, including a trial treatment of oral chemotherapy.
The lesions stem from deformed, dilated veins, which then appear on the skin as blue or purple swellings. There is no cure for the disease.
The condition makes Bethan-May sensitive to extreme temperatures — so if it is really hot or really cold outside, she can have an outbreak of lesions, or existing lesions can become more painful.