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A woman who was born with a rare condition that causes her skin to appear thick and scaly has credited her self-confidence to the positive affirmations her mother made her say in front of the mirror.
When fitness instructor Brittany Mickens, 31, from Fredericksburg, Virginia, was born, she was rushed to a nearby children's hospital because doctors didn't know what was wrong with her skin, and her family was told she wouldn't live past the age of one.
Brittany - Skin - Doctors - Case - Eczema
As Brittany grew up, her skin grew thick, dry and scaly, but doctors dismissed this as an extreme case of eczema, prescribing her strong creams to treat her skin, which would only work for a few weeks at a time before her skin reverted to the condition it was in before.
'I was misdiagnosed as a child and was told that I had really bad eczema,' Brittany explained.
Children - Hospital - Washington - DC - Year
'When I was first born I was rushed to a nearby children's hospital in Washington, D.C. because they didn't know what was wrong with me, and eventually was told I wouldn't live past a year.'
Growing up, people would stare at Brittany and notice that her skin appeared different to theirs.
'I - Stares - Anyone - Anything - Skin
'I would get a few stares, but it was rare that anyone would say anything to me about my skin. I didn't feel any different, but I knew I was different.'
But thanks to her mother, Wanda, who instilled a strong sense of self-love in her by getting her to repeat positive affirmations in the mirror, Brittany has learned to love herself for who she is.
'My mother made sure that I accepted myself and I was proud to be who I was,' she said.
'She would often make me look in the mirror and repeat, "I love you, you are beautiful," over and over again. And one...
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