The Man with the constant shedding skin

Ryan González as a child

Ryan González as a child

  • Ryan Gonzáles is an American who was born in San Diego with a rare condition called Harlequin ichthyosis.
  • Harlequin Ichtyosis caused Ryan to have deep red cracks in his skin and his eyes turned inside out.
  • One in 500 000 babies is born with this condition which is also known as Harlequin fetus. It’s almost always fatal because of the skin’s difficulty to hold water and its lack of protecting from bacterias or diseases.
  • Ryan’s body produces too many skincells and his skin is not shedded properly – it’s sheds seven to ten times faster than normal leading to a hard, armour-like skin in red.
  • Because it’s such a rare condition, not many doctors know how to properly treat it. However, Ryan was successfully treated with an acnecream called Accutane. It functions like a large dose of Vitamine A, allowing his skin to shed properly.
  • With a normal caloric intake, Ryan was still starving as a baby because of his body was producing new skincells at an extremely fast rate.
  • Ryan started to grow when he got a high calory, high protein food suppleant which he now receivs while asleep.
  • Ryan needs to consume 7500 calories a day to keep up with his fast shedding of the skin.
Ryan González grown up

Ryan González grown up

  • Ryan is now 22 years old and competes in triathlon despite his difficult condition which also has left him with an impairment in his hearing and eyesight.

Sources and further reading:

10News article
Discovery Channel Health’s ”Medical Incredible”.

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