(FOX News) - A woman from North Carolina who was born with a rare condition that has caused birthmarks to cover 70 percent of her body says she is proud to be different even after enduring years of bullying and staring from her peers.
The Mirror reported that 19-year-old Ciera Swaringen, of Richfield, North Carolina— northeast of Charlotte— was born with giant congenital melanocytic nevus. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the condition is usually marked by abnormally dark, noncancerous skin patches made of melanocytes, or pigment-producing cells. It occurs in an estimated 1 in 20,000 newborns worldwide, and affected individuals often cope with emotional and behavior problems due to the anxiety and stress that the nevus may have on their appearance.
The condition has led to moles stretching from Swaringen’s head to her toes, and her largest mark goes from her lower thighs to her navel.
But Swaringen told The Mirror that despite the jeers from her classmates— some who have called her a “spotty dog” or tell her she looks “dirty”— she has maintained body confidence.