When People Stare at Your Vitiligo

Optimism, Vitiligo

Anyone with vitiligo in visible places can tell you that when people stare at our vitiligo it can have some pretty heavy emotional consequences. Of course, sometimes you get positive attention as well. The best way to balance things out is to learn to manage your feelings about the attention you get!

I have had vitiligo on my face for three and a half years. It started out as a spot on my chin, and soon I found that I had spots all over my face. I was like a dalmatian. Or a pinto ­čÖé I got a lot of attention because of it. I would have preferred that people ask me about it and have an open conversation, but I’m sure they did not want to make me feel uncomfortable. Over the years, as my vitiligo changed I changed too. I learned to manage my feelings about my vitiligo and about the attention that people gave me. Now I just have a few spots on my face, and depending on how my hair is styled you sometimes can’t even see them, but people still drop their jaws at me every now and then.

I decided to make a video about what to do when people stare at your vitiligo because I have noticed that a lot of people with vitiligo hate their own skin. It makes me so sad. There are many beautiful things about vitiligo, and focusing on the positives at least helps to lessen any emotional hurt.

Thank you for reading and watching!



P.S. I’m working to improve my videos in general! I just got a new camera (early birthday gift) and I’m moving out of the Harvard dorms this weekend. So I hope to figure out a good location for better lighting!


Types of Vitiligo


I have vitiligo! It’s no secret; there is an oval, almost ornamental VitiSpot on my face just beside my eye.

Recently I learned about a treatment for vitiligo called Melanocyte Transplantation, which involves lab grown skin grafts. According to the websites I’ve read, it’s not as painful as it sounds. (Though honestly, I have no plans to have the procedure. I just like to be informed about all things in the vitiverse) The success rate for the transplantation depends a lot on the┬átype of vitiligo a person has. There are types of vitiligo?! I had no idea.

I did a little bit of research. As it turns out I have focal vitiligo, because my VitiSpots are confined to a few select areas of my body. They do morph over time, but generally stay in the same regions of the body. There are other types of vitiligo as well. Below are the full details, in awesome video form. Uhh, I should warn you, I was incredibly tired and drained when I filmed this! Seriously, I had had such a long, weird, cooped up, energy sapping day, and making this video made me feel eons better, so thanks for giving it a looksie..

All info was pretty much taken from vitiligosupport.org.

If you have vitiligo, I really hope this helped you understand what type you might have. I know it really helped me. Please feel free to contact me if you have any question about vitiligo or would like to chat!



Homeopathy’s Redemption


The practice of homeopathy was pioneered by the Germans, but the Indians just eat it up. Homeopathy, which was invented by Samuel Hahnemann, is one of India’s national systems of medicine. It’s a thing. In fact, my Indian father took me to an Indian homeopathic doctor (we’ll call him “h-doctor”) in my not-so-Indian hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I fancy myself a fairly open-minded person. At first I was happy to give homeopathy a go:

From: http://consciouslifenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/homeopathy2.s600x600.jpg

I have vitiligo and struggled with sleep eating for a while. My father was determined to help me make both of them go away. He introduced me to h-doctor, who told me that if he were able to diagnose me correctly his medication would ‘restore the flow of my life force.’ Alright … That definitely sounded like flowery phrasing to me, but if the meds work then I’ve got no issues! I had some vague idea that the little sugary pebbles h-doctor gave me were saturated with leaf juices and good vibes or something. As it turns out, my assumption that homeopathic medication was akin to that of Ayurveda (a relatively reputable plant-based, Indian system of medicine) was wrong.

Basically, homeopaths take a substance and dilute it with water or alcohol. Then they perform something called succussion, where they beat it. You know, paddle + bum? That kind of beating. They repeat this process a lot: dilute then beat, dilute then beat … until it is pretty much impossible that any of the original substance is left. The claim is that dilution and succussion make the medicine even more potent. That the water has a “water memory” for the essence of the original substance. And that the water-memorized essence, of something no longer there, will restore the flow of your life force and cure all of your problems (physical, mental, psychological). Well, such lofty promises. Cover up those red flags with fool’s gold why don’t ya!

Still, many people swear by homeopathy. And that made me think that the placebo effect must be something significant.

I became a closeted skeptic. I figured, if I can ignore my criticisms and harness the power of placebo, maybe it’ll work anyway! And that’s just it – being fully aware of the possibility of placebo kind of makes no sense. And if I think a placebo could have a real effect on me, then why can I not just use my own mind to make those changes, instead of tricking it?

The following are, in my opinion, the two redeeming qualities of homeopathy:

1) The placebo.

2) The “therapist” aspect.

At times homeopathic doctors really sound like therapists. “Do you have a tendency to have a short temper?” “How do you feel in crowds?” “Are you very sensitive?” “When you were a child did you feel that someone important in your life was controlling?” … H-doctor asked me all sorts of questions. He always looked over his glasses at me with neutral eyes, waiting for the answer so that he could simply acknowledge what I’d said and write it on a piece of paper. Sounds a lot like accidental therapy to me.

From: http://creamofmommysoup.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/29-dog-therapist.jpg

I don’t have a dog, but someday …  : )

I’d like to think that the conclusion I’ve come to is the right one (fingers crossed), that I’m not just being dismissive of things the scientific community (and I) don’t yet understand, that by acknowledging my skepticism and realizing the power of my own mind I’ll be able to help myself in the ways homeopathy claims to.

Have you ever tried homeopathic medicine? What did/do you think?

Peace, love, and THE MIND, MAN … O.O