Woman who is 'allergic to herself' her skin breaks out if she laughs12/09/2023
Woman who is so ‘allergic to herself’ her skin breaks out in welts if she laughs or cries is dubbed a medical mystery by doctors who haven’t been able to diagnose her in five years
- Beth Tsangarides, 20, from Deal says her skin and body reacts to ‘everything’
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A woman who is ‘allergic to herself’ has revealed how laughing, going outside or crying can make her look like ‘an acid attack victim’.
Beth Tsangarides, 20, from Deal, Kent says her skin and body reacts to ‘everything’ she does, flaring up when she laughs or cries ‘too much’ and even going into anaphylaxis from many foods, herbs and spices.
Horrifying photos show Beth’s, weeping and scabby skin that baffled docs claim is a ‘medical mystery’.
Beth, who’s suffered with the mystery ailment since the age of 15, says she was unable to wear make-up due to her condition and endured cruel nicknames at school including ‘pizza face’.
After finally feeling brave enough to wear make-up again, Beth splashed out £200 on cosmetics.
Beth Tsangarides, 20, from Deal, Kent says her skin and body react to ‘everything’ she does, flaring up when she laughs or cries ‘too much’ and even going into anaphylaxis from many foods, herbs and spices. Pictured left, aged 15, before the flare-ups. Right: A flare-up
The beauty lover was given a makeover she says made her look ‘so different’ her partner of two years 20-year-old Sasha Hay didn’t recognise her (pictured together)
The beauty lover was given a makeover she says made her look ‘so different’ her partner of two years 20-year-old Sasha Hay didn’t recognise her.
‘I wore make-up as a teenager a lot. I had really bad acne and I used to love doing make-up looks,’ Beth said.
‘When my skin first flared I knew I would never be able to put make-up on it again. My doctors just told me to avoid it completely because there’s a risk of infection.
‘I was just brave enough to try it again and I think that’s all to do with the confidence I’ve gained over the last year.
‘I did so much research into it and looked at every ingredient in everything. I was so happy when I realised it wasn’t hurting and I wasn’t flaring.
‘It was crazy. It was so weird seeing my skin so smooth and without any imperfections or scarring.
‘It brought tears to my eyes because it wasn’t even the fact I wanted to cover my skin, just the feeling of make-up on my skin felt so refreshing and like I was a new person.
‘My partner was in shock. She’s never seen me in make-up and she doesn’t see make-up as a big thing or wear it herself.
Beth was diagnosed with Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) three years after she fell ill and is now undergoing testing to get an official diagnosis for the cause of her skin issues
Beth is pictured wearing make-up after her makeover
WHAT IS POSTURAL ORTHOSTATIC TACHYCARDIA SYNDROME?
Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, also known as POTS, is a condition where too little blood returns to the heart when standing up.
Most cases are diagnosed in women between 15 and 50 years of age.
Episodes are usually sparked by pregnancy, surgery or trauma.
There is no single treatment for the illness.
- Blurred vision
- Heart palpitations
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, dizziness or loss of consciousness
- Poor concentration
- Pain in extremities
Source: Rare and Genetic Diseases Information Centre
‘She did look at me and then looked away because she thought I was a different person. She couldn’t believe how different I looked.’
Beth was diagnosed with Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) three years after she fell ill and is now undergoing testing to get an official diagnosis for the cause of her skin issues.
Day to day Beth also suffers from mobility issues, fainting and seizures that make her unable to work, meaning her partner Sasha is her full-time carer.
Beth said: ‘At 15 I woke up one morning with a rash on my face and from there, everything just went downhill. My bowels, kidneys, everything just kind of stopped working.
‘Everything I do affects my skin or my body in some way. Whether I’m laughing too much or crying or emotional, my skin can start flaring.
Beth is pictured in hospital for her chronic illness PoTs
Beth says she used to avoid leaving the house after her skin flare-ups knocked her confidence, but says posting on TikTok has helped her feel more positive in herself
Beth has suffered from anaphylaxis as a result, she is pictured in hospital
Beth is pictured resting at home after suffering anaphylaxis
‘It feels like I’m being burned alive, it’s excruciating.
‘The way I describe it is like someone being burnt in a fire or an acid attack. For some people that’s what it looks like as well.
‘Medical professionals say I’m a medical mystery and that this is something they have never seen before. They don’t understand how a body can do something like this.
‘My partner and my whole family joke about it that I’m allergic to myself.
‘No matter what I do, even if someone else with PoTS can do something, my body reacts differently to it.
‘My biggest thing is food. I pretty much live in a bubble because they’re airborne allergies.
‘If I’m around the smells of certain spices and herbs or something very strong smelling, it can cause me to stop breathing and have a severe reaction on my face.
Horrifying photos show the 20-year-old’s scorched, weeping and scabby skin that baffled docs claim is a ‘medical mystery’
Beth is gaining more confidence and posing with and without make-up
‘I’m very limited to what I can eat and it’s scary.
‘Pasta is my best friend, because it’s the only thing I’ve never had a reaction to. I try to stick to plain things like plain chicken nuggets.
‘I don’t go out to eat. If I do it has to be pre-planned and after speaking to the chef. It’s something that I haven’t been able to do since I got ill.
‘It’s hard because I’m 20, I want to be out with my friends going drinking and for a pizza or something like that.’
Beth says she used to avoid leaving the house after her skin flare-ups knocked her confidence, but says posting on TikTok has helped her feel more positive in herself.
Beth was bullied at school and called ‘pizza face’
Beth says she regularly thinks about what would happen if she hadn’t gotten ill
‘It really did affect my confidence at an early age. I didn’t want to go out.
‘People have made up nicknames for me, even in school when I first started posting about it, I would get comments from people at school saying “pizza face” and ‘tomato face’.
‘They used to affect me but now I just laugh.
‘I was very isolated at school, I didn’t have many friends.
‘I was isolated in a room because we didn’t know what I would react to, so I would be in the first aid room and constantly being checked on by teachers.
‘People would look at me through the window and rumours were going around about what was actually wrong with me.
‘Mentally it changed me, I’ll never know who I would’ve been without all of this.
‘That’s something I think about every day, “what would I be doing right now if I hadn’t gotten ill?”.’
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