Ehlers Danlos syndromes are a group of thirteen genetic connective-tissue disorders. One of the more common symptoms of these disorders is something called skin elasticity. Weak connective tissue creates skin that is incredibly stretchy or velvety soft. It’s often quite thin and heals with abnormal scars.
Some people with these disorders can stretch their skin out to absurd degrees, including doing things like putting their neck folds into their mouths or taking the tight skin of their arm and creating something that looks like a canvas. These disorders include plenty of other symptoms, and this one isn’t all good, but it can still be a bit of fun.
Getting the Feline Look
Occurring in only one out of every seventy-four thousand people, cat eye syndrome doesn't just affect the pupils. It's a developmental disease that affects a lot of the body, but the most striking symptom is the elongated shape of the pupils, which can often look like the slitted pupils of a cat.
Not all eyes change in this manner, and there are many who have the disorder who don't have abnormal pupils at all. The condition is caused by additional copies of chromosome 22. People with the disorder can have one or two additional copies. The disorder was first documented in 1899, and the cause was discovered in 1965.
Changing Color in the Cold
We all lose a little bit of color in the cold thanks to blood moving away from our extremities and toward our important organs, but people with Reynaud's syndrome have it a little worse. It's when the spasm of small arteries causes episodes of reduced blood flow to end arterioles.
It's typically the fingers that are affected, and sometimes the toes. In rare cases, the nose, ears, or lips are affected. While the cold is a big part of this happening, other causes include smoking, certain medications, and thyroid problems. About four percent of people suffer from some form of the disorder, and it's more prevalent in women.
The Speck in Your Eye
As our eyes develop, the remnants of a fetal membrane can persist inside the pupil, creating something called a persistent pupillary membrane, or PPM. It was originally present to provide blood to the lens for proper nutrients, but after birth, it serves little purpose.
A PPM causes when the membrane does not properly atrophy, but symptoms are rare, and even those with them lose them before reaching adulthood. Though some small effects may occur, minor treatments and rare surgeries will remove it entirely. In the meantime, it looks like a creature out of space.
That Dangly Thing, as Cardi B Calls It
We all have a uvula – that bit of flesh in the back of the mouth that dangles down. It's a helpful little bit for producing saliva, blocking nasal cavities while swallowing, and is also part of the gag reflex, which – while unpleasant – does a lot of good work for us.
Some people have a uvula that is split, called a bifid uvula. This sort of disorder is connected to middle ear infections (no fun) and food being able to enter the nasal cavity while swallowing (no fun). However, the population at large only presents this about two percent of the time.