This March, the Vitiligo Society is launching an early preview of their new meditation app, Skin Deep, providing guided meditations for those with skin conditions, including vitiligo.
Using a psychotherapeutic technique called ‘the inner-child method,’ the meditation takes listeners on a safe, secure and loving guided inner journey into difficult emotions to offer support and positive affirmations. The app supports over 2,000 types of skin conditions including vitiligo, psoriasis, burns, acne and eczema. Each meditation last around 20 minutes and the final version of the app is expected to have 15-20 meditation tracks that vary based on mood, age and emotional challenge. The app will be free to use and available on iOS and Android.
“Meditation was a tool I’d used for many years to deal with the difficult emotions associated with my own skin condition, vitiligo” said Simon Parker, founder of the app and a Vitiligo Society board member. “I found the more I meditated, the more I began to accept my skin condition. My overall happiness increased and my outlook on life became more positive.”
His experience isn’t unfounded. In fact, there’s an overwhelming amount of scientific research that demonstrates the benefits of meditation in helping people deal with anxiety, depression, low self-image and stress. There is also increasing research being done in the area of psychodermatology, which studies the link between mental health and skin conditions. In fact, a 1998 study showed that pairing meditation with UV light therapy increased the rate at which psoriasis cleared in patients.
Seeing the benefit of meditation in his own life, Parker wanted an app specifically about living with skin conditions. Today, a 10-person volunteer team of designers, developers, data engineers, project managers, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists is working hard to bring the beta version of the app to market to get feedback and shape the future of the charity-backed project.
Skin Deep is looking to open the beta version of the app to a closed group of people for testing in March 2019. Ideally, users will be willing to use the app daily for at least a month and report back on the usability and any technical issues in of the app.
“The app is being built to support those who are dealing with a skin condition, so it’s vital we get feedback from our user base as soon as possible. It’s a free, volunteer-driven, collaborative charity project and our success is dependent on community engagement,” said Parker, who shared that the team hasn’t set a launch date for the final version yet but expects a full public release in 2020.
Erika Page is a writer and blogger with universal vitiligo. Based just south of Washington, D.C., Erika founded Living Dappled to create a community of inspiration and hope for girls and women living with vitiligo.