Is your skin paper thin and highly stretchable? If the answer is "Yes", you may be having the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can severely weaken a person's joints, blood vessels and skin.
The Circus of Horrors is a touring extravaganza, packing the house wherever it goes. It features everything people don't want to see but can't stop looking at. The show includes all sorts of characters with all sorts of body piercings and tattoos. But the star of this show is 37-year-old Garry "Stretch" Turner, and his wild skin-stretching act.
Turner suffers from an extreme case of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that can severely weaken a person's joints, blood vessels and in Turner's case, skin. The disorder, which most commonly attacks a person's joints, affects about one in 10,000 people. However, the odds of Turner's special variety of the disease are astronomical.
Normal human body cells are held together by a kind of chemical glue called collagen, which keeps them tightly bound. But the collagen of someone with EDS is misshapen and loose, which, in the most extreme and rare circumstances, produces skin like Turner's.
Backstage at the Circus of Horrors, Turner demonstrates how the skin on parts of his body can be pulled away. "There's areas of skin, like on the belly, for instance, that will stretch a lot further," he said. "It's actually twice as thin as regular skin," he continued. "Although you wouldn't believe it to look at it … it is actually quite paper thin."
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Link & Video: ABCNews
Tags: Ehlers Danlos syndrome | Stretchable Skin