Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland



Dromore woman raises awareness of rare skin disorder

LIVING with a skin disorder can be frustrating and irritating but raising awareness of the condition only makes life easier.

With that in mind one Dromore woman is to host a charity night, next Friday evening, to increase awareness and hopefully raise some much needed funds for research.

Wendy Tate has a very rare skin disorder; hers is one of only two known families in Ireland with the condition.

Ichthyosis, pronounced eethyosis, is a hereditary condition mainly passed in the female line.

Wendy likens it to having snakeskin as her skin is constantly shedding and renewing.

"I have lived with this condition all of my life and have learnt to manage it," she said. "With this condition I have

seven layers of skin compared to the average person. "My skin must be protected and I have to use pure glycerine syrup to keep it moisturised."

Wendy hopes that by raising awareness of the condition and other skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis, young children will be spared the cruel taunts she experienced.

"It can be very difficult for young children, and I hope the youth of today can be educated that such skin conditions are not infectious," she said.

"At school it can be very difficult to face such fears, that no-one will hold your hand during gym class."

Wendy inherited the condition from her mother Beverly McClearan.

Beverly's mother Madge Cunningham passed the condition on to her two daughters Beverly and Naomi McCarten.

This is the normal pattern of inheritance, however in Naomi's children the condition had transferred. Her son Alexander has icthyosis but her daughter, Kelly, does not. It is only in the last 25 years that research into this condition has progressed and it can now thought to have originated in Japan.

However the research is ongoing but the latest treatment breakthrough, using retenoids, has two many side effects to prove effective.

"There are many people living with serious skin disorders, and they are a growing problem affecting most families," said Wendy. "My hope is that through continued research more effective creams and treatments will become available in my lifetime."

Skin Deep promises to be a wonderful evening of fun and song, for a worthy cause. The Cowpats will be performing at The Ranch and a fun table quiz by compere Dee will be open to all.

Tickets are priced 4 and are available from Helen McFadden at The Wellington House, supper will also be served on the night, Friday June 2 at 8pm.

Looking forward to their 'Skin Deep' fundraising evening are Alexander McCartan, Naomi McCartan, Wendy Tate, Beverley McClearn and Irene Coburn. US21-302SM

Ulster Star