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Vitiligo and Self-Esteem: It’s Possible to Have Both


By Alisha Archibald, as advised to Kendall Morgan 

I first realized that I had vitiligo in 2014. I used to be preparing for work — about to hurry out the door — and, whereas combing my hair, I noticed a small white spot at my hairline. It was on my brow, concerning the measurement of a dime. I believed, “I don’t assume I burned myself with the curling iron.” I brushed at it, and it didn’t go away. Instantly, I knew what it was as a result of my grandmother had vitiligo. She’s been gone for 10 years, however my ideas went proper to her.


At first, I didn’t do something about it. I used to be afraid to sort out it. I used to be in denial, maybe, and thought perhaps it will simply keep as that one spot. However inside a few months, I began to note different spots. I started inspecting my physique throughout. I thought of my grandmother and the way she had hidden herself. Again then, individuals didn’t know what vitiligo was. They might stare. They hadn’t seen fashions with vitiligo earlier than like we’ve now. 

It took me a few years earlier than I lastly went to the physician. By that point, the spots had unfold. I used to be carrying extra make-up to attempt to cowl them. A few of my family members began asking why I hadn’t gone to the physician. They’d heard about ways in which perhaps it may very well be reversed or slowed. The vitiligo was spreading over my face. I made a decision it was value a attempt to see a health care provider and discover out what may be achieved. 

The physician was useful. She defined that there wasn’t a remedy, however there have been remedies that may sluggish it down. There had been instances the place individuals obtained some pigment again. I listened and determined to strive it. She gave me two topical lotions and I additionally obtained once-a-month injections, together with a steroid. Inside a month, I believed that I began to see the place my pores and skin had a little bit colour coming again. I later realized that it wasn’t a good suggestion to remain on steroids long run; there may be uncomfortable side effects, so I ended after about 5 months. 

Going to the physician helped me take management. It helped at a time once I felt like I wanted extra confidence. The physician empowered me with extra information. I’ve accepted my vitiligo now. I’m not on therapy now, however I do know that I’ve that possibility. Medication is a science, and there are new remedies for vitiligo on the horizon. 

Self-acceptance is finally what’s so essential. You should preserve your self inspired. There can be days whenever you don’t really feel like you have got confidence. At these instances, it’s good to depend on these round you who can encourage you when you’ll be able to’t encourage your self. 


It helps me to be round others with vitiligo. I began a gaggle referred to as So Uncommon They Stare right here in Athens, GA. I created this group to coach others on vitiligo and to encourage others who’ve vitiligo. It helps to encompass your self with like-minded individuals. I’ve all the time been a constructive particular person. Once I’m round destructive individuals, I attempt to flip it round and give attention to the constructive. 

I began seeing the affect of the group I began inside the first few months. For instance, an older woman within the group had worn make-up to cover her vitiligo for over 30 years. She advised me that she cried as a result of she went out for the primary time carrying shorts and with out make-up on her face. If I can assist one particular person to be OK with themselves, it means a lot. 

In my group, individuals know me. I generally neglect that I’ve vitiligo. I need to proceed to do extra to coach and encourage individuals in order that we’ll see extra individuals with vitiligo.

Once I was a toddler, my grandmother didn’t need to exit of the home. We all know that vitiligo doesn’t hurt our our bodies, however it could possibly do hurt psychologically. My hope is that folks will discover no matter works for them — whether or not that’s a assist group or medicine — to assist them step exterior the entrance door. That’s what’s most essential. 


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