Chandra Wisnu and his wife, Nanik, were married 33 years ago and Wisnu thought he had everything he could ever want in life. He was young, well-educated, good looking and was born into a family that was very well-off. After the wedding, Wisnu ran into a bit of bad luck. Not long before the wedding day, the Indonesian began noticing small bumps on his back that he said looked like bubbles. In his village, Wisnu became known as the ‘Bubble Man’ despite staying locked inside his home so he could not be seen with his pink bubbles on his skin. When Wisnu exited his home he would wear a balaclava, sunglasses and three jackets so he would not scare children.
“People are afraid, they are frightened of my horrible face and worried they might catch the disease,” he said. “So instead I avoid people, I rarely go out except to pick up my daughter from school. And when I do I cover my head and my face because I don’t want my daughter’s friends to bully her for having ‘the dad with the horrible face’.”
Wisnu first began seeing the bubbles on his body at the age of 19. By the time he was 24 they had spread to his back and they covered his entire body by the age of 32. Wisnu, 25 years later, is hoping to find a cure because his children are beginning to exhibit signs of the condition. Wisnu’s struggles are featured on a TLC documentary called “Bubble Skin Man,” which is scheduled to debut on June 20. Wisnu said that he never lost the love from his wife despite his body’s condition.
“You’re still handsome,” she said during a part of the documentary.
Wisnu was taken by his parents at the onset of the condition to see various doctors and dermatologists, all of whom were stumped by the severity of the condition. A couple of the doctors told Wisnu that the condition was genetic and others that the condition could have been caused by an abnormality in the nervous system. Wisnu was prescribed creams that did not work in the least bit, causing him to give up hope that a cure would be found.
“There was no special treatment for my disease,” Wisnu said. “I was just told to see one dermatologist after another because they did not know how to treat me.”
When the weather gets warmer, Wisnu really struggles with the condition because the bumps become itchy and sore. Wisnu also finds it difficult to deal with the condition when he leaves his home and goes out in public because of the reaction people give him.
“They only have some small tumors now but they worry they will get worse,” he said. “If there is a chance to get such kind of free medication, I will take that chance, but right now my family is all the treatment I need.”