HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – A Vietnamese woman who is 26 but has the appearance of someone 60 years older was attracting the attention of the country's top doctors Friday, as they searched for a cure for her remarkable but mysterious condition.
Nguyen Thi Phuong's appearance began rapidly changing, from the visage of a woman in her 20s to that of a pensioner, after she contracted an allergy, the Tuoitre News reported. Her forehead, eyelids, cheeks, chin and neck had sagged severely.
This week Phuong, 26, has been checked by 10 experts in endocrinology, dermatology, cardiology, and anatomy, led by Dr. Dang Van Phuoc from Ho Chi Minh's University Medical Center.
Phuoc said he did not know what had caused the rapid change in Phuong's appearance.
A doctor who inspected the woman a week ago in her home province of Ben Tre claims she is suffering mastocytosis, a skin condition caused by the presence of too many mast cells, which are related to allergies.
Vietnamese donors have offered to pay for Phuong to be treated overseas if doctors in the country cannot cure her condition, the newspaper said.
Phuong was first struck by the bizarre reaction in 2008, when she had an allergic reaction to eating seafood. Since then it has worsened.