Every woman of a certain age knows the horror of waking up to find a few new wrinkles, but Nguyen Thi Phuong lived a worse nightmare. This 23-year-old Vietnamese woman woke up one morning three years ago and looked 50 years older than she was.

The young woman was given medication for a seafood allergy that may have caused a reaction in which her skin aged decades in a matter of days.

Doctors are perplexed, with some believing she may instead have a rare condition called lipodystrophy, which causes the fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin to disintegrate while the skin itself continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Other doctors think Phuong may be suffering from mastocytosis, an incurable disorder caused by the presence of too many mast cells. If that's the case, treatment could restore 50 percent to 70 percent of her skin.

As she continues to look for answers, her husband has stayed by her side. “He still loves me like before despite the fact that I look old and ugly. With him, I feel more confident to live and work,” she said.

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