Woman ages 50 years in just a few days

Doctors have been left baffled by a strange condition which saw a woman of 23 age 50 years in a matter of days.

Vietnamese woman Nguyen Thi Phuong now looks like a 70 year old after the rapid aging affliction took hold following an allergic reaction to seafood.

Her sad story began in 2008, when her youthful beauty began to fade over the course of just a few days, leaving her with sagging, wrinkled skin all over her face and body.

Until now she has been forced to wear a mask in public to hide her appearance from prying eyes, but now doctors are attempting to establish what caused her sudden and horrifying aging.

Her husband, carpenter Nguyen Thanh Tuyen says his love for his once beautiful wife has not faded while Phuong, now 26, says her condition has only worsened since she was first struck with the condition.

The couple, from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, in Vietnam, have agreed to talk to the media for the first time in order to ask for help.

Some have argued that the condition is lipodystrophy – a rare syndrome that causes a layer of fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin to disintegrate while the skin itself continues to grow at a startling pace.

The syndrome with no cure leaves its victims with loose folds of skin all over their bodies, wrinkled faces and the gaunt features of people decades their senior.

The condition is extremely rare and out of around seven billion people on the planet, only 2,000 are thought to have lipodystrophy.

Phuong explained she has long been allergic to seafood and that she had suffered a particularly bad reaction in 2008.

She said: “I was really itchy all over my body. I had to scratch even while sleeping.”

Phuong said she took some medicine bought at a local pharmacy instead of going to the hospital because her and her husband Tuyen, now 33, were too poor to afford it.

She said: “After one month of taking the drugs, I became less itchy but hives remained on my skin.

“Then I switched to traditional medicine and all the hives disappeared, together with my itching. However, my skin began to sag and fold.”

Phuong then took another kind of traditional medicine to treat her rapid-aging skin problem – but to no avail.

The couple do not remember what the medicine was or which pharmacy they got it from.

Tuyen said his wife’s disease has not affected his love for her or their relationship.

He said: “I married Phuong when she was a beautiful woman. I have followed her through her disease and have never been shocked at all.

“It’s not easy to talk about one’s own marital affairs. Just simply understand that I still love her very much.”

Phuong said her husband’s love is the reason she is able to persevere in the face of adversity.

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