14/08/2014 12:52 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

The Eight-Year-Old Who Neighbours Call 'Fish Boy'

The eight-year-old who neighbours call 'Fish Boy'

An eight-year-old has been cruelly nicknamed 'Fish Boy' by neighbours - because his entire body is covered in thick, itchy scales.

Pan Xianhang was born in Wenling, China with a rare genetic skin disease known as Ichthyosis, after the ancient Greek word for fish.

Most sufferers develop dry scaly skin across part of their body, but Pan's case is more severe. His scales have affected the shape of his eyes, nose, mouth and ears - and they limit the movement of his arms and legs.

The condition also means he's in constant pain and struggles to sleep at night because of the itching. Sufferers are treated with creams, oils and moisturisers, which are designed to hydrate the skin.

The eight-year-old who neighbours call 'Fish Boy'

Liz Dale a spokesperson for the UK-based Ichthyosis Support Group told The Sun: "There is no known cure and treatments for ichthyosis are predominantly keeping the skin moisturised with plenty of emollients i.e. lotions and creams.

"The skin needs to be moisturised to prevent it from further drying out, which could cause the skin to crack, making it more prone to infection, which may be fatal."