While at Cambridge last weekend, we saw a black lady with the skin condition Vitiligo. A condition I share. I was amazed that she had just decided to let things go as they are, and even I had to double take, despite seeing the problem on a daily basis. But for me as a white person the condition is only visible on my hands and part of my face, this is obviously due to those parts being given more sun than the rest of my body.
So what is Vitiligo? Well it is when the body attacks itself and the pigmentation of the skin ceases, and patches of white form where colour once was. Have a search on-line, there are hundreds of pictures to look at. It is obviously a condition that is greatly more obviously in black and Asian people, as their skins are darker
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease, and often associated with other autoimmune problems such as thyroid and diabetes (I guess I’m just lucky lol)… But for me it is not a particularly bothersome, although I sometimes am self conscious. There is no cure for the condition, except for a short course of steroid cream when small patches become first obvious. There is cosmetics available which cover the areas.
The conditions isn’t sore or painful, so you may ignore a white patch on your skin (as I did), after all the UK is hardly known for great weather. So when I first see the patches I ignored them and didn’t bother seeing a doctor, because they didn’t cause any pain or anything. But upon a routine visit to the doctor, I did mention them as they were getting bigger, and then my diagnosis was given.
As a Vitiligo sufferer you need to take precautions in the hot weather, as the pigmentation of a normal skin is missing, and you are far more easily burnt than other without the condition. Slap on plenty of sun cream to prevent burning and further serious problems.
I recall reading some years back that Michael Jackson had a skin condition that was turning him from black to white, I laughed and thought he cannot expect us to believe that. Fast forward to a few years back and I was diagnosed with exactly the same condition – who is laughing now? But for me it really isn’t such a big problem, and no one has ever mentioned it to me, but for people with dark skin it must be quite difficult.
Have a nice day
p.s This is the book on Amazon that the dietician recommended on Monday which I have coming, a great buy if you are diabetic or carb counting: http://bit.ly/S3wXYT