A 41-year-old woman, Kelly Fidoe-White, has revealed that she has a rare medical condition which makes her smell like fish.
Kelly, from Oldham, Manchester, said she noticed the offensive odour when she was six-years old but didn’t know the cause until she turned 34.
She said she had to shower at least four times a day, change her uniform twice, and use whole cans of deodorant to mask the smell.
According to her, she has been mocked, taunted, and called names by people due to the smell.
“People call it a curse, and I can see why,” she said.
She recounted a time when a mom had to bring fresh pair of clothes to her office after someone complained to management about her smell.
The medical condition has been identified as trimethylaminuria (TMAU) commonly known as “fish-odour syndrome” and it currently has no cure.
Kelly was diagnosed in 2015 and has undergone series of therapy and counselling for the decades of bullying she experienced.
Speaking with The Sun, Kelly said,
“As a healthcare professional, to be asked if you know you should be using soap when you wash, is really upsetting.”
“It has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene.
“I could wash every hour of every day and it would only be a short term fix.
“In fact, it is common for sufferers to smell worse after a shower because the pores open more due to the warm water.
“Your first thought is that it is BO [body odour]. So you wash more, use stronger soaps, wash your clothes using soda crystals, apply more perfume and body spray – all of which makes it worse.
“I ultimately learned that the skin needs to remain at its natural pH of 5.5 as acid breaks down TMAU as it comes through the skin – soaps, bleach and soda crystals are generally alkali.”
“It has nothing to do with weight, which was thrown at me a lot.
“In fact, my smell was worst when I was at my lightest.
“Currently I believe I am relatively symptom-free.