An Indonesian boy suffering from a rare condition that leaves his skin dry and scaly has been dubbed ‘snake boy’ because he sheds his skin every 41 days.
Ari Wibowo, 16, has to smear himself with moisturiser every three hours and soak in water every hour to stop himself drying up and cracking.
The teenager suffers from Erythroderma, an inflammatory skin disease also known as red man syndrome, that causes the skin over his entire body to become scaly and flake off.
He also has problems with his speech and his vision in his right eye is impaired, while the other is constantly being treated with drops.
So far, doctors in Indonesia have been baffled by the disease, leaving his family to cope alone to manage the heartbreaking condition themselves.
As well as living with his reptile-like appearance, Ari also has to put up with cruel stares and suspicion from villagers, and children too terrified by his looks to play with him where he lives in Tangerang, in the province of Banten.
The schoolboy’s incredible life has been captured by photographer Nurcholis Anhari Lubis, who studied the boy’s condition as part of an essay project.
The 35-year-old describes the boy’s skin as “scaly like a snake about to shed his skin”, as he observed him at home, in the classroom and socialising with friends his own age.
He said: “It’s really sad because he was not born normally and has scaly skin all over his body, similar to being severely burnt, from the sole of his feet up to his head,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“If the boy doesn’t moisturise or soak his skin in water, his body would shrivel and harden up like a sculpture and he won’t be able to move.
“If he leaves it unattended for too long, he won’t be able to speak because the wrinkles inside his mouth would go hard and it would dry out all his blood in his body.”