To cover or Not to cover?

So I took a few previous posts (Different StrokesWhat’s Up Doc?Second Opinion, and Over the Counter) to discuss some common treatment options for vitiligo. And as promised, I will now share the regimens I have used and how I feel about them.

What do I use now? Nothing.

What have I used? I have tried steroid creams, dyes, photochemotherapy, cosmetic makeup, and even “nunning” it by wearing extra modest clothing.

When did I make the transition away from medical treatments? Maybe about 2 years into my vitiligo journey.

When did I stop using makeup cover? Maybe another 2-3 years after that.

When did I stop low-key nunning it with my clothes? I don’t know if I can pinpoint exactly when.

When did I start 100% loving the skin I’m in? I’ll let you know when that happens. Lol. All jokes aside, I absolutely appreciate the skin I’m in – curves, bumps, tones, and all. I’m also still human. Along comes a wrinkle or scar or pound or unflattering blemish that I catch in the mirror, and sometimes I’ll wonder how can I smooth this one over. But these (let’s call them featurettes) don’t derail my perspective of beauty.

I had pretty bad bouts with eczema when I was younger. I actually thought my first vitiligo patch was because I scratched the skin so bad that the lightening and eventual depigmentation was due to the damage. I didn’t know any better, I was a young teenager. Even if I was 40, I probably would have had the same initial thoughts. Honestly, I’m not even sure now if I went to the doctor because of vitiligo, or if they noticed and asked about it when I was there for something else.

I was 15 years old, so at the time, my primary concern was getting back to the smooth milk chocolate skin that all of my aunts and folks used to praise when I was young. #melanin #melaninpoppin #blackisbeautiful All of that! I had the clearest, most even skin. Not one pimple all throughout puberty. So at the time, I could only think about the quarter-sized spot on my chest that was growing lighter and larger. It never occurred to me how much more the vitiligo could (and later, would) develop.

To an outsider, it’s only one small barely noticeable spot; but to someone struggling with vitiligo, it’s the uncertainty that the spot represents.

So I took a prescription cream and started rubbing. In the morning. In the evening. And the doctor suggested I do a UV treatment that could help, so we did. My mother picked me up from school early, and we went to the doctor. I rubbed a cream on my spots, sat for a few minutes, and then stepped into a UV chamber with eye covers. 30-45 seconds later, I stepped out, put my clothes on, and went back to school. 2-3 days later, I was back in the doctor’s office for another session.

I missed a little more school, got to know the nursing staff really well, and kept hopeful with the specks of brown that I saw forming in and around the white area. After a few weeks, I looked in the mirror and saw a new light patch coming in around my eye. Wait! Is that supposed to be happening?? That’s when my doctor explained that the UV therapy was only a spot treatment. It couldn’t the prevent future development of vitiligo. I think that’s when my inner nerd decided that doctor runs twice a week in the middle of school were not going to work for me in the long run.

1 thought on “To cover or Not to cover?

  1. I liked your quote about “uncertainty” because if you got vitiligo, and the spots never changed, it would be easier to accept. It’s the fluctuating, unpredictable nature of vitiligo that can be stress-inducing. My daughter has it. She was “lucky” to get it young. It’s her only normal. We don’t cover up at all and I think she’s growing up quite confident in her own skin. And I agree, most people are curious, but not cruel and quickly get over it once they get to know her. Treatment can be worse than the cure as it’s such a grueling routine. Congrats on embracing the beautiful new you!

    Liked by 1 person

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