Fairy Lashes & Vitiligo

by This is Carrie on March 28, 2011

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.


{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

August 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

PLEASE teach her how to put mascara (a non-bulking non-body increasing type) on those lashes in question. You cannot even fathom the sledging she will cop at school, the simple fact you’re calling them ‘special’ and named them ‘fairy lashes’ is indicative that your reality cheque bounced quite some time ago.

Give that girl mascara, NOW. The poor kid deserves a normal childhood and those things will have her as an outcast and single the rest of her life because kids are horrible monsters.


Jen Reply:

This comment disgusted me.

I’m a 30 year old woman whose had vitiligo since I was a child. My eyebrow is half white. I can assure you, I jag a very happy childhood and did not get a “sledging”. I was not at all an outcast and I love my white patches.

Don’t bash someone else because of prejudices YOU have. That’s lame.


Mila Ekon Reply:

First of all, why are you telling a child to put mascara on? Her eyelashes are unique and not the same as everyone’s.
Not every child in the universe is mean either. People could also think her eyelashes are cool and want to talk to her.
Lastly, people are mean to people these days for no reason. She shouldn’t have to cover up because annoying people tell her to.


Lea October 22, 2013 at 2:30 am

I deal with the same problem and my eyelashes only turned “white” when I was 21. I’m 24 now and however it bothered me at first and I don’t like applying make-up, I decided to embrace it… AND NOT ONCE EVER have I been made fun of. On the contrary, everyone who notices it emphasise how “cool” and “unique” it is. So, if she learns to deal with it, she will realise it is nothing to be ashamed of or be covered up.


nitin Reply:

i am suffering from the same eye lash problem at the age of 3 till nw @ 27 age.
felt embarassed in school and classes bt then got adapt to the condition.
but my main worry is the girl whom i am dating from last six years had no problem but her family has. they are of my same caste but not willing to accept me with my white eye as what society will think and how can they give their daughter to some1 who has leukoderma..

I AM VERY CONFUSED HOW to convince them and marry their daughter..


Betty Jo October 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Please have her do the light treatment. I have been doing them for about 1.5 years and went from a small dot of color to almost all my body colored again. I stopped for 3 months in the summer to avoid getting skin cancer per my doctor, but it continued to return at a slower rate. I actually had lost all the hair on my legs, arms and under my arms which is now growing back too. It could be worse for her, one of the parts of this auto immune disease is losing the hair on your head. That did not happen to me but the other parts of this 4 part disease I did get – vitiligo, my thyroid quit working completely and I became anemic because the body also kills the red blood cells like it kills the skin color cells. When I began the light treatment, the anemia stopped also. My eye lashes have fallen out but are coming back, the hair on my legs and arms has returned as well as under my arms. I was a prisoner without the light treatment. Whenever I went into the sun I would develop burn blisters no matter how much suntan lotion I had put on. One of the reasons that we stopped in the summer was to see if the color would stick. Not only did it stick, it continued slowly to come back on its own. I probably had vitiligo for 15 years with just some small areas that had no color but I thought it was scar tissue from being burnt. Then one winter it took off and in less than 3 months all the color was gone but the one small patch. Take care of it now before it gets worse and takes longer to return the color. I go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN for my treatment. It is done 3 days a week and begins at 3 seconds and increases 3 seconds each treatment. After 1 year I was up to 6 minutes. I do not regret a moment for my decision to treat and am no longer a prisoner in my home.


Sara January 31, 2014 at 10:01 am

I developed vitiligo about a year ago, my mother had it as well as hashimotos. I am looking for a way to treat it or prevent it from spreading further as I already have it on my knees, ankles, hips, inner thighs, chest and face. I am looking for some kind of effective low cost treatment I can use at home. If you have any ideas please share I am open to anything. And fit your daughter, I think she will be fine staying out of the sun the discoloration is so mild on her face that she shouldn’t worry. I also have white eyelashes but they are easily covered with a little mascara and no one notices. Tell her not to worry and always tell her that it isn’t very noticeable because as long as it doesn’t bother her other will not have a negative reaction. Best of luck!


James Reply:

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Simon February 10, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Why not to try Latisse? A single trial of use of BIMOTOPROST { Latisse} in treating vitiligo patients was submitted during the world congress of Dermatology, May 2011, by Dr Narang, from India. 10 patients with localized vitiligo applied bimatoprost 0.03% ophthalmic solution at a dose of 1 drop per 2 cm2 of affected skin twice daily for 4 months.Seven of 10 patients showed pronounced repigmentation beginning on average after 2 months of treatment. The face responds best , with much less response on other areas. Disease duration less than 6 months showed best response.


Sandi February 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

I have the same thing and enjoy telling people that I’m like Rogue from Xmen… Maybe she will feel like a superhero if she takes that attitude. ;)


Paige February 24, 2014 at 6:25 am

You are absolutely doing the right thing!! There is no need for her to wear mascara right now (those lashes are so beautiful). She is young and innocent and that should be nurtured. I think I know you would never do this, but don’t push the mascara, offer it as an option someday if she wants it. When she is in her 20s she will probably love those special lashes again! You are already setting her up to have good self esteem and the ability to deal with whatever may come her way so good job!!! There is nothing abnormal about her eyelashes. There is no normal. We are all unique.


Sylvia March 13, 2014 at 11:51 am

You should look up Michael Dawson and treat vitiligo naturally


vitiligo pictures April 4, 2014 at 10:28 am

Fairy lashes! Also known as vitiligo. Check out my page and know the best treatment for vitiligo http://www.vitiligotreatmentadvice.com


Kerri May 17, 2014 at 3:00 pm

I was searching pictures of vitiligo after watching a video about it. Saw this one and literally audibly said, “aww cool!!” I think those eyelashes are awesome. Like, I thought it might have been a MAC makeup ad. Guarantee she will love them when shes in her twenties. My boyfriend has vitiligo, and I really like it. Its really unique and his. I think you should let her wear mascara when u would let her wear mascara otherwise, which i think is your plan. It might be hard not to give in if kids start to tease her ( which might not even happen ), but ultimately you are sending a strong message about how you feel about her just as she is, which will be really beneficial to her sense of self. Kids are going to tease and be teased a bit no matter what they look like. The kind if people u want around her are going to think her skin and eyelashes are cool or not even pay attention!


NikNak May 26, 2014 at 2:49 am

My oldest is 24 and he has been dealing with this vitiligo for about a year now and it’s starting to spread more and more, his lashes are now starting to turn white and he is very self conscious about it and want to have a skin graph and laser treatment that can be cancer causeing, which this actually cause more harm than good. We are trying to encourage him to just embrace it. We have other family with vitiligo but it’s on parts of the body that’s usually only exposed in the summer, like their feet. My daughter has a friend who has had it on her face since she was a small child but she is now about 19-20 and we don’t even notice it, it’s not something that sticks out like a soar thumb because we are so use to it, I have a another family member with a huge strawberry patch on one entire side of his face, we don’t see that, it’s something that is unique, it doesn’t bother them and it’s not affecting their lives because they have embraced it, something I would love for my son to do.


Will May 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Vitiligo or not, and white lashes or not, she’s an adorable kid. I’m pretty sure she will cope just fine. I think her lashes are cool, and plenty of others will as well.


James July 18, 2014 at 9:47 pm

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