Two summers ago Pumpkin was diagnosed with Vitiligo, a disorder that causes depigmentation on patches of skin (the same disorder made famous by Michael Jackson). Over the past two years she has continued to lose freckles on her right cheek as well as the color in her right eyelashes as the patch has spread from right under her eye down to her lips. When she first noticed her special white lashes, we told her they looked like beautiful fairy lashes. She agreed for a while. But just the other day, she expressed her dislike of those special, fairy lashes. I reassured her that when she gets older, she can experience the magic of mascara. Luckily, that seemed to calm her fears.
While there is no cure for the disorder, keeping her out of the sun keeps her skin light and the patches less noticeable. There are treatments (creams, light treatments, etc) that have had some success in repigmentation, but we have yet to try them for fear it will give her more reason to be self conscious. I don’t want her to think she needs to be “fixed.” But, if the treatments worked, it could save her from some mild heartache as a teenager, so I constantly wonder if I’ve made the right decision.
We all want our children to be completely happy and healthy, but if I had to pick a childhood disorder or disease for my child, one that can be handled with some pricey sunscreen and maybe some early makeup lessons is one I’d choose any day.
P.S. If anyone has had experience with Vitiligo, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
First of all, thank you to everyone who has left kind comments on this post. The mean the world to me and my daughter (who is now nine years old). We were recently at the dermatologist (for another issue) and the doctor rechecked her vitiligo and also checked in with her on not only the physical toll of the disease but also the emotional toll it was taking. She laid out the treatment options and my sweet daughter said “My vitiligo is like my red hair, my freckles and my glasses. It’s what makes me unique and I don’t want to change that.” The doctor smiled and I hoped she really meant what she said. After seeing photos of Chantelle