Facelift gives prematurely-aged teen new hope

25 June 2013

Woman removing bandages from faceA teenager from Rotherham in South Yorkshire with a rare condition which makes her skin appear wrinkled has been given a new lease of life by cosmetic surgery. Zara Hartshorn, 16, believed she was suffering from lipodystrophy, a genetic condition which afflicted her mother, and which made her look as much as four times her actual age. Dr Abhimanyu Garg found that Zara was actually suffering from an even rarer condition, cutis iaxa, which is believed to affect only about 30 people in the UK, and he offered to perform the reconstructive surgery for free.In the past, Zara suffered indignities such as not being allowed to buy a child's bus ticket because the driver didn't believe she was young enough. But now, she is looking forward to a happier life, and fulfilling her ambition of one day running her own beauty salon. Zara told the Daily Mail: "Before I had surgery I was picked on for looking different, now I look the same as other girls my age. As she grew up, she had to endure plenty of hurtful comments, but she got through them with the help of her mum. "Mum explained that I had an illness like she did, but that I was beautiful and shouldn't pay any attention to what anyone said," Zara said.