Bullied Girl’s Freckles Are So Extreme That She Can Only Go Out at Night

June 8, 2019 Updated: June 15, 2019

It has taken Andrea Ivonne Monroy, of San Diego, California, 27 years to come to terms with the freckles that threaten her life. For Monroy, direct exposure to sunshine is a nightmare scenario, and one that she has to avoid at all costs.

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Monroy was born with a hereditary skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (or “XP” for short). In layman’s terms, Monroy’s body is unable to repair damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, or indeed ultraviolet rays emanating from any light source (think fluorescent lighting in stores, malls, or sports centers for example).

The condition is very rare and only affects about 2,000 people in the whole world. But rather than feeling marginalized, Monroy has found amazing coping mechanisms.

Today, she loves the skin she’s in.

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Monroy’s family noticed that she was developing an unusual amount of freckles as a little girl; at the age of just 5 years old, Monroy was diagnosed with XP. Her parents took it seriously. Monroy was home-schooled, and the family even had their home kitted out with specially tinted window glass.

“In every single way I have always had a different life,” Monroy told the Daily Mail. “My mom taught me to read and write. The house windows were tinted and our curtains were kept closed if I was in the room.”

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As an adult, Monroy still doesn’t go out much during the daytime. She’s had to become a night owl out of sheer necessity. “When I go out, the sun must not touch my skin,” she shared.

The 23-year-old’s skin condition can lead to aggressive skin cancer if she’s exposed to sunlight; if Monroy does leave the house during the day, she has to wear protective clothing. “I wear a hat that has a special plastic to protect me from the sun,” Monroy explained, “not completely, but it does help.” She also wears gloves, jeans, boots, and a jacket, all made from special, sun-shielding material.

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Monroy, who chronicles her life on social media, posted a picture of her outdoor outfit on Instagram with a moving disclaimer: “People always look at me as if I am some kind of odd creature from another world,” she wrote. “I don’t mind it, I simply smile because I love the way I look,” the inspiring young woman continued. “Each scar and freckle is a reminder of what I’ve been thru and [am] still going thru.”

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Monroy appeared on television’s The Doctors, where she was surprised by the show’s dermatologist with a life-changing experimental laser procedure that could help ease the effects of her skin condition. To date, Monroy has already endured 25 surgeries to remove cancerous cells; she will likely need treatment to target pre-cancerous cells for the rest of her life.

The brave blogger has numerous outlets for her inspiringly positive outlook on life. Besides Instagram, Monroy has her own website and YouTube channel, named “nightlensblog,” on which she posts encouraging videos for other people who face potentially spirit-crushing challenges in their lives. XP “makes me feel like a better human,” Monroy shared, proving how far she’s come since the early years of fending off the bullies’ cruel remarks.

“I thought I was the only one in the world with XP,” Monroy continued. “I realized I wasn’t and I met others that had same thing as me. I don’t want to think about the future,” she continued, expounding the philosophy that helps keep a smile on her beautiful face. “I just want people in general to live and love life to the fullest. Life is hard, but there is always a way to make the most of it.”

“I love my freckles and my scars,” Monroy concluded. “I’ve learned to love myself.”

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