Also known as the Harlequin type ichthyosis
, the most severe form of congenital ichthyosis.
The Harlequin Fetus is a baby born with unusually hardened keratin layer in fetal skin. This creates diamond shape scales instead of skin. The eyes, ears, mouth, and other appendages are also horribly contracted and deformed.
The scales limet the poor child's movement, and cracks where the skin folds. This takes away the skins main fuction; protection. Bacteria get into the skin, causing infections.
The term harlequin comes from both the baby's facial expression and the diamond-shaped pattern of the scales, which are caused by severe hyperkeratosis. 17th century entertainers known as jesters, or harlequins, wore costumes with diamond patterns on them, as well as a particular style of face paint. The features of the harlequin fetus mimic this stylized makeup, and their faces are often pulled tight into grim parodies of a clown's smile.
Survival is normally only hours.