14/08/2014 12:57 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Teen Girl Who Is Allergic To Life

North News

A teenage girl is a prisoner in her own home because exposure to the outside world causes her skin to erupt into blisters and rash.

Brianie Copeland, 17, is effectively allergic to life and spends her days swathed in bandages because she suffers from painful eczema, dermatitis, arthritis and asthma.

Her multiple allergies are made worse by coming into contact with items that most of us handle each day, including cleaning products, strong light and even heat from the radiator.

Brianie, from Durham, said: "I have to apply cream two or three times a day and I wear bandages every night to keep the cream on my skin.

"I also have to have a bath at least twice a day. If I don't my skin cracks and dries out. It is really painful."

Eating is also a minefield and she has to follow a severely limited diet in order to avoid dangerous reactions.

She has to avoid certain foods such as diary products, wheat, soya, nuts and oats.

Brianie said: "If I eat them my throat starts to swell up and close. I also take 10 tablets a day."

Her allergies mean she is unable to lead a normal life and will never be able to wear make-up or get a tattoo or piercing.

She explained: "The nutrients from my skin are gone and my immune system is broken, so while other people's bodies fight off colds in a couple of days, mine takes a couple of weeks.

"My brothers and sisters all help me. If we go out for a meal they always enquire about the ingredients and we avoid going anywhere where there is pollen.

"They often say they wish they could be in my shoes for a day so they can understand what it was like."

But Brianie, who left school with excellent GCSEs and is now studying childcare at New College Durham, doesn't let her condition get her down.

She said: "I grew up wearing bandages constantly so I don't know any different. People say to me if there was a cure would I take it but I don't think I would.

"Although it is hard sometimes, I like being different to everyone else. I wouldn't have it any other way."