Indonesian teenager, Ari Wibowo, has been nicknamed ‘Snake Boy’ due to a condition which leaves him shedding his skin every 2 days!
The 16 year old is forced to soak his body in water every hour and then cover himself in skin lotion to keep his skin from hardening which would leave him unable to move.
Doctors have diagnosed Ari with Erythroderma, or ‘red man syndrome’ but say they do not have the resources to treat his condition.
From the soles of his feet to the top of his head, Ari’s skin is scaly and if he does not soak and moisturise, his skin will ‘shrivel and harden like a sculpture.’
Ari has had trouble making friends and schools won’t allow him to enrol because they are afraid his condition is contagious. His family are determined to try to make his life as normal as possible, despite the judgement of the village.
It’s not only Ari that faces nasty comments though, his mother has been accused of torturing lizards whilst she was pregnant with Ari. This comes from an Indonesian superstition that says if a woman mistreats an animal during pregnancy her child will be born resembling that animal.
Article written by D Mulhern