In a country where women spend a fortune on medical procedures to look young and beautiful, Hu Juan from Zhengzhou, China, is leading a rather difficult life.
After giving birth to her first child 11 years ago, Hu’s facial features began to change, as if she was aging prematurely. Although she is just 28 years old, she looks like an old woman in her 60s or even 70s.
The explanation of her rare condition is a disorder known as Cutis laxa, which causes the skin to become inelastic and hang loosely in folds. Although there is no known treatment, procedures such as cosmetic surgeries can help alter the deteriorating appearance.
Hu is apparently the only person in China and only one of 10 people in the whole world who suffers from this disorder.
Although Hu’s husband has been supportive of her, she admits she has been living a rather miserable life for almost a decade now. She says the disorder has damaged her self-confidence and negatively affected her relationship with her child.
"I dare not walk the streets and look into others' eyes," she stated in an interview. "After I acquired the disease, I dare not look at myself in the mirror, and I can't pick up my child from the school."
Hu also suffers from depression; she even attempted suicide once.
However, Hu wants to change her life for the better now. She arrived in Shanghai last week seeking cosmetic surgery to help alter her appearance to look like her true age.