Tag Archives: vitiligo

Beard, or no beard: that is the question


Jendy, who I’ve only known since 1987, asked:

If you were to shave your beard, would Lydia recognize you? Would I? ([Paul [her husband] says his kids would do a double take every spring when he used to shave his off!)

I don’t get to see Jendy as often, now that she has a new job. When she worked in a public setting, I’d see her once or twice a month. So she didn’t know that, in fact, I DID have my beard shaved off, on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It had become a scruffy mess, and I needed to get it trimmed. But once in the chair of a new barbershop, I let the whimsy of the moment carry me off, and had all the facial hair, save for the mustache, removed. Lydia seemed to recognize me, and I’m sure you would too.

Know who didn’t recognize me? Continue reading Beard, or no beard: that is the question

S is for Sunburn and Skin Cancer

One of the things I have NEVER understood is the appeal of lying in the sun for the sole purpose of lying in the sun; seemed like a waste of time. Going swimming or playing a sport or working on a sunny day, that was OK.

As it turns out, while there is some benefits from the sun in terms of absorption of Vitamin D, the downside of too much sun is quite great.

* “Exposure to sun causes Continue reading S is for Sunburn and Skin Cancer

Made for the Shade

Ah, June. Look forward to it less than I used to.

As I noted here, way back in 2007 and subsequently, I have a skin condition called vitiligo. After dealing with some weird socio-psychological stuff, I’m more or less OK with it. Most of the time.

I wear long-sleeve shirts almost all of them time when I’m going to be outside, even when it’s hot out. I seek shade. I wear hats. I use sunscreen on the cloudiest of days. I also wear sunglasses a LOT; don’t know if it has anything to do with the condition or merely aging, but I seem to be much more sensitive to sunlight than I used to be.

Still, I’m still tired of people – OK, there’s no getting around saying it, white people – coming up to me and pointing out that they are darker than I am, or at least the parts of me where the melanin has ceased to work on me. It’s usually my hands, particularly the back of my hands, that are the points of comparison. Happened to me a couple weeks ago.

It’s not that it hurts me, or offends me. It just IRRITATES me – I can’t explain why – moreso because it’s usually done by people I know, often by people I like. So if you happen to see one of your friends who are experiencing vitiligo and feel compelled to lord your tan over that person, PLEASE don’t. They may be smiling outside, but even money, you’re bugging them.

30-Day Challenge: Day 11-Recent Picture of Me

This is a picture that a guy at church took of me in February.

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you that, as often as not, I do not recognize myself in photographs in the last two or three years, especially black and white pictures. This is because the vitiligo has lightened my face several shades, and in my mind’s eye, I don’t look like my sense of me.

There was a sermon recently in which the question posed was, “When you look in the mirror, what do you see?” I said to myself, “I DON’T look in the mirror all that much.” When I do, I see the the melanin trying to come back on my face in splotchy patches, and it’s constantly changing, depending on how much sunlight I get. It was annoying when this was happening on my arms and legs and feet a couple years ago, quite another when it appeared on my visage. It messed royally with my sense of self-identity.

I’m OK with it, but to suggest I was great with it would be a huge stretch. None of this should be construed as some sort of self-loathing; it’s more like a mild toothache, not bad enough to send one to the dentist right away, but enough to be aware of so that you don’t eat food on that side of your mouth.