Community Q&A: How Often Do You Think About Your Vitiligo?
Daily. Weekly. Never. Only when you look in the mirror. These are just some of the responses that Living Dappled readers shared when asked how often they think about their vitiligo. For some, vitiligo is constantly on the mind, while for others it can be a fleeting thought or only top of mind in specific circumstances. While everyone’s experience differs, there’s no right or wrong answer–only your story.
How often do you think about your vitiligo? That’s the question we posed to our readers, and the stories poured in. Read our community’s answers below and join the conversation on Instagram.
Disclaimer: The following answers are the perspectives of readers and not endorsed by Living Dappled. Responses have been lightly edited with brackets where needed for clarity but are shared as is to respect the perspective of each contributor.
How often do you think about your vitiligo?
“Summer I do daily but in the winter I get a break because it’s not very noticeable.”
“Maybe daily or every other day average. 99% of the time I’m happy with it. Sometimes though the thought is lightly negative like putting makeup on my face and noting that I smooth out some white spots. It isn’t even close to a problem and I enjoy my spots. I would not want them gone.”
“It’s part of my identity, I don’t think about it unless it’s brought up in a conversation.”
“Every single day.”
“Anytime I get a bad sunburn.”
Related: Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen if You Have Vitiligo
“Whenever I need to do my makeup to step outside, which is the most annoying and time consuming part when I get ready. It takes a lot of time to achieve the most skin-like finish when you need full coverage.”
“Every single day. I love my universal vitiligo and ivory skin, but I’m a unicorn as an African American woman with zero pigment, aka black girl magic melanin.”
“Whenever I look [in] the mirror mostly.”
“Never…it’s how I am.”
“Pretty much all the time from May until October. As much as I hate Canadian winters, it is nice to kind of forget about my vitiligo. I do still notice it in the winter but I don’t think about it near as much as the months where I am tanned.”
“Pretty much only when I have to worry about protecting it from sun exposure.”
“A lot – many times per day – way more than I want to think about it.”
“All the time without even realizing it.”
“Multiple times a day.”
“Every time I look in the mirror or get my hair cut. Every summer day when I have to remember to keep applying sunblock.”
“Honestly it depends. Most days it’s not something I think of. I’ve had my spots since I was two years old so I have grown up with it. Vitiligo is a part of my identity, personality but most of all the way I view the world. But at the same time my vitiligo is always on my mind. I love my skin and I love teaching others about my skin but it is a very noticeable difference from the majority of the world. But who said different is bad!”
“A lot, daily.”
“All the time.”
“Hardly, sometimes I forget I have it, I don’t even notice it when I look at myself in the mirror anymore. It’s become a part of me so much that I don’t feel it stands out anymore.”
“Sometimes I don’t ever think about it and then others I can’t help but think about it. I forget at times that not everyone has skin like mine. I notice each summer how much it has changed or spread from the previous year and that’s when I’m more conscious of it. Still find it so interesting after all these years.”
Related: How to Be Yourself When Your Identity Is Changing Before Your Eyes
“More in the summer when my patches are darker.”
“When I would like to be able to be in the sun without worrying about applying sunblock mostly and when people stare because they don’t know what it is.”
“During the winter months it’s a fleeting thought, unless I discover evidence of it spreading and then panic rises. But the spring/summer months are tough and it can feel like a steady drumbeat.”
“Too much already. Not looking forward to summer when the rest of my skin goes darker.”
“All the time.”
“I love my vitiligo, but sometimes when wearing shorts or a dress, I hyper-focus on the fact that people will stare at me for a little too long. That’s the only thing I don’t like about it.”
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.