When you live with vitiligo, a more-often-than-not visible skin condition, you’re likely to get attention in public. While most people will give your skin a casual glance or stare, some will go so far as to ask you about your skin. Depending on your personality, the situation, the day or the type of attention, the interaction may be wanted or unwanted. Either way, you’re left with a decision: how do you respond when someone asks you about your vitiligo?
There’s no right or wrong way to respond. Everyone with vitiligo handles these situations differently and has different comfort levels when speaking about their skin.
How do you respond when someone asks you about your vitiligo? That’s the question we posed to our readers — and the answers came flooding in.
Here’s how readers respond to questions about vitiligo:
“With a smile, then ignore.”
“Happy to share some insight. What would you like to know?”
“That it’s an autoimmune disorder and I love who I am.”
“Excited to educate!”
“Try to be calm and educate.”
“When someone has an energy of love behind their question, then I’m proud to talk about it.”
“It’s taken me a while to realize people don’t care and aren’t judging me so now I welcome it.”
“I proudly tell them all about it.”
“Usually that it’s not a sunglasses tan. Then I explain what vitiligo is.”
“I tell them I have designer skin.”
“I tell them it’s an autoimmune skin disease that causes you to lose pigment. Not contagious!!”
“Depends on how they ask about it…”
“I will talk openly about it now.”
“These days, I explain and share some facts. People have been amazing since my perspective shifted.”
Erika Page is the Founder and Editor of Living Dappled. After getting vitiligo at the age of seven, she lost 100% of her pigment to the condition and today lives with universal vitiligo.