The most tattooed woman in the world.

Julia Gnuse before and after her tattoos
She is in the Guinness World Records as the most tattooed woman in the world but not because she set out to achieve that feat in life. Julia Gnuse lived a pretty ordinary life until she turned thirty five, her skin changed became extra sensitive and started to scar her in a very ugly way.

After several trips to the doctors, it was eventually discovered Julia had porphyria, an incredibly uncommon skin condition that is either inherited from a parent or just spontaneously develop. One of the most uncomfortable symptoms of her condition was that her skin became ridiculously sensitive – to the point she could not go outside without her skin blistering right in front of her eyes.

Her doctors could not do much for her as the only medicine currently on the market has the side effect of making her lose her sight. Faced with the choice of complete body scarring or blindness, Julia turned to her friends for solution on how to cover up the embarrassing scarring she was getting and one of them – a plastic surgeon – suggested she tried tattooing as a way to cover up the parts of her skin she did not like.

One tattoo on her leg was what it took to get her hooked on the idea. Julia covered her entire legs with tattoos, and then moved up to her arms, stomach, and back. Now over 95% of her body is covered in tattoos – including her face – and today, she is known as The Illustrated Lady.

Her tattoos took more than five years to create, and were all created by the same artist. The tattoos cost her more than $80,000. though the tattoos do not actually protect her from the sun’s hurtful rays, however, they covered up the scarring.

The Illustrated Lady

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