'Mermaid baby's' skin condition makes it shed too fast

A baby with a rare condition that causes her to grow and shed scales 'like a snake' has been dubbed a real life 'mermaid' baby by her mother.

Maryam Bibi, from Birmingham, has ichthyosis, which causes her skin to grow 10 times faster than normal people's, making it extremely dry and flaky.

Her parents Maira Bibi, 21, and Azmat Khan, 25, spend up to four hours a day moisturising Maryam's skin to prevent it from cracking, and have broken two washing machines trying to keep up with the youngster's constantly dirty clothes and bedding.

Despite initially struggling to cope with strangers' stares, Maryam's mother has accepted her condition and say she would not have her any other way.

Ms Bibi, a stay-at-home mother, said: 'I like to think she's like a mermaid because of the appearance of her skin and the how smooth the scales feel.

'Despite her looking different it was love at first sight, I wouldn't have expected her to have these problems but couldn't imagine our lives any other way now.' 

A baby has a rare condition that causes her to grow scales and shed them like a snake

A baby has a rare condition that causes her to grow scales and shed them like a snake

Maryam Bibi's mother has dubbed her a 'mermaid' due to the disorder that makes her skin flake

Maryam Bibi's mother has dubbed her a 'mermaid' due to the disorder that makes her skin flake

WHAT IS ICHTHYOSIS? 

Ichthyosis describes a group of conditions that cause dry, scaly skin.

It occurs when skin cells are formed faster than is required, causing them to accumulate on the skin, resulting in thickening.

Unlike eczema, ichthyosis occurs continuously and usually affects the entire body.

In most cases, it is inherited and present at birth.

There is no cure. 

Treatment focuses on improving the skin's condition and reducing discomfort.

This is achieved via moisturising at least twice a day. Medication may also be required to reduce scaling. 

Source: Ichthyosis Support Group

'I like to think she's like a mermaid' 

Ms Bibi said: 'Her skin reminds me of fish scales, because the patterns are such different colours when it's drying and then that skin peels off just like a snake.

'But I like to think she's like a mermaid because of the appearance of her skin and the how smooth the scales feel.

'Despite her looking different it was love at first sight, I wouldn't have expected her to have these problems but couldn't imagine our lives any other way now.

'Before I craved to see what she would look like with normal skin but now I can't even imagine that because that to us would not be a true image of how she looks; to me she's beautiful.'

Every morning, Maryam must have an hour-long bath before her parents apply various different soaps to her skin to help loosen it.

They then moisturise to her skin around four times a day to prevent it from cracking.

Ms Bibi said: 'I'm always having to change her bedding because she sheds all the time, so we are always buying new linen and clothes because it gets ruined with all the

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