Deadly Disease Causes Sisters to Grow Too Much Skin

Two sets of sisters in England suffer from a painful and incurable disease that causes them to grow more skin in one day than the average person does in two weeks, it is reported by the Daily Telegraph.

Professor David Kelsell, of St. Bartholomew and the Royal London Hospital School of Medicine and Dentistry, said he has identified a mutation in a gene known as ABCA12 as a major cause of the disease called harlequin ichthyosis, according to the report.

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Lucy and Hannah Betts and Dana and Lara Bowen, two sets of sisters who have the condition, will be profiled in a documentary airing in the U.K. Wednesday. The four girls have to painfully exfoliate twice a day and live in a sterile environment, according to the report.

Infants with this condition are born with very hard, thick skin covering most of their bodies.

The abnormality affects the shape of the eyelids, nose, mouth, and ears, and restricts movement of the arms and legs. Many sufferers with this condition die within days of birth, according to the report.

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Click here to learn more about harlequin ichthyosis.