Teen with rare skin disease vows to defy cruel bullies

Teen with rare skin disease vows to defy cruel bullies
Photo credit: News Lions

A Filipino teen, cruelly called "snake lady" due to a rare genetic condition, has vowed to defy those who bully her.

Floraine Nalugon, 17, wakes up every morning covered in scales. She constantly has to smear her body with moisturiser to stop her skin from hardening and seizing up.

The disease she suffers from is called ichthyosis. It means that her skin regenerates at a much faster rate than normal, causing a build-up of rough, scaly skin.  

It hurts her when she hears bullies making fun of her, but she says she's going to use that as motivation to study hard and get a good job, in spite of her condition.

Her parents are the inspiration for her strength.

"They showered me with love despite my physical deformities," Ms Nalugon said. 

Another teenage girl with the same condition, Shalini Yadav of India, is currently receiving treatment for the disease.

Ms Nalugon is hopeful to someday receive the same treatment, although for now, she will focus on her study. 

"I'm very excited to know that there is a treatment of the disease I suffer from," Ms Nalugon said.

"I will be studying hard, get a good job and show to people that discriminate against me that there is a chance for me to be like them also."