Vitiligo: You have to accept your vitiligo before others accept your vitiligo

 

Vitiligo is a disease of social concern. One of the major worries parents and parents (relatives) have about vitiligo is that about un-acceptance and discrimination by society. This is true especially in brown or dark skin societies, like that in India, Asia, Africa, Brazil, Mexico, etc.

Patients come and ask me about ways to hide their vitiligo spots, as they feel embarrassed with visible white spots. They ask me about camouflage (make-up). I am not against the use of camouflage for vitiligo. However, I always take up the opportunity of conveying the message that when you apply camouflage, you are actually trying to hide and escape from the reality of having vitiligo. In other words, you are trying to tell the world that you do not have any vitiligo. This actually, means that you are not ready to accept your vitiligo.

Vitiligo patients tend to complain that society does not accept them due to vitiligo. I agree that it is a weakness on the part of society, a sign of a lesser-developed mindset; to discriminate against anyone on the basis of some loss of skin color. However, my contention is that vitiligo patients would have to first accept their vitiligo before they expect others to accept their vitiligo.

When I say 'you accept your vitiligo'; I also mean that you learn to feel comfortable with your vitiligo (leucoderma). This will require an understanding that vitiligo is not a serious disease; it is just a loss of color. You will have to be convinced of this fact before you start others to believe in this reality.

I am fully aware that it is easier said than done. It is hard to implement this idea. But, it will be really worth it. This realization will eventually help you outgrow your vitiligo. As I always say, vitiligo will teach you many great lessons in life; lessons of self-discovery, acceptance, maturity, and confidence.

Once you accept your vitiligo, others will do. Also, once you will accept your vitiligo, you will care least if or not others do.

Some suggestions on how to introduce your vitiligo to the community or how to initiate the process of acceptance:

  • Stop covering the areas which you probably kept covering when in public
  • Wear shorts or half sleeves and stop feeling conscious about your vitiligo spot
  • Avoid wearing socks or long shirts to cover vitiligo spots
  • Start your swimming sessions without inhibitions
  • Shake hands with confidence and firmness even if you have vitiligo on your hands
  • Indian females wearing sarees may start wearing again and celebrate festivities as well as vitiligo
  • Let children with vitiligo wear shorts on play areas
  • Keep your hands and arms on the meeting table while attending the meetings
  • If you have vitiligo on your hands, let your hands be raised using pointers while giving a presentation

 

Accept vitiligo

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