A man who is allergic to the sun has been given a realistic-looking 'second skin' to wear over his face to stop burning in the sun.

Alex suffers from a rare skin condition condition called Xerodema pigmentosum, an incredibly rare skin condition caused by a defect in the DNA repair system which leaves him 10,000 times more susceptible to UV damage than an average human.

The condition causes skin to blister as soon as its exposed to direct sunlight.

Alex has been wearing a mask and protective visor - even when it's grey and cloudy, as UV rays are so harmful - but thanks to a new invention, things are going to change for Alex.

Inventor Zoe Laughlin has come up with a solution to get Alex out in the beautiful sunny weather; the invention is a 'second skin' mask based off of his own likeness.

The mask was presented to him by Zoe on the BBC Two show The Big Life Fix.

Xeroderma pigmentosum hinders Alex's ability to repair DNA damage caused by sunlight and it also left him with learning difficulties, partial hearing loss and has a high risk to develop skin cancer.

Alex's mask took two months to build, using a 3D printed model of his face based off of thousands of pictures. A silicon mold was created after the 3D model was placed in a plaster cast.

Alex was lost for words when he was presented with the mask.

"I didn't think it would be possible," he said.

His mother Anna was ecstatic:

I'm blown away, I’m glad you tried something that hasn't been done before.

Even in my wildest dreams I wouldn't have dreamed it up.

Anna recalled on the show the first time Alex was exposed to direct sunlight:

You can see on the photos his face is fried, totally fried, there was no skin there. His face was burnt, his hands were burnt, his legs were burnt.

He was then diagnosed with Xeroderma pigmentosum which has kept him indoors during every sunny day growing up.

Anna said she refused to "lock him away" and constructed a makeshift mask and visor herself to limit the sun's thrall over Alex.

The Big Fix airs Thursdays at 8pm on BBC Two.

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