When you have vitiligo, the cells that are responsible for your skin color are destroyed. These cells, called melanocytes, no longer produce skin pigment, called melanin. Once the cells no longer produce melanin, areas of your skin will lose color or turn white. Areas of lost pigment can develop anywhere on your body, including your hair. It is not contagious. Approximately 1% of the world’s population has vitiligo. Vitiligo affects every race and can occur at any time in your life. I was 22 when I was diagnosed.
When I first saw vitiligo on my son’s knees, I was fiercely determined he would be confident in who he is and his appearance. That meant I had to be confident in who I am and my appearance. So we wear what we want and do what we want. We are healthy and strong. Vitiligo only affects how we look. My vitiligo is pretty advanced with loss of pigmentation on 50% or more of my body. Each summer has revealed new or larger spots for me. I am an advocate for my health. I have tried many many things. I have wonderful resources and experts in my life. While many of those have helped my son’s vitiligo, they have not helped mine. So one of my biggest concerns especially during summer months is sunburn. I’m always seeking shade, wearing rash guards for swimming, and applying sunscreen.
So now you know. Vitiligo is part of my life, my family’s life, and so many others. I am determined to be comfortable in my skin. I hope you’ll be comfortable in yours. ❤️