Dayka Robinson is an interior designer from Atlanta who has Vitiligo. Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease which causes the white patches to develop on the skin due to the immune system mistakenly attacking the cells that produce Melanin, the skin’s pigment. The exact cause of the condition is currently unknown and there is, unfortunately, no cure for Vitiligo. Although Vitiligo isn’t physically painful it can affect people mentally due to the appearance of the condition. Speaking on her blog, Dayka Robinson Designs, Dayka says “The “downside”? Knowing that it’s “just skin”, yet still having to navigate a psychological forrest of conflicting emotions that are very real. It’s like trying to execute a full spin on a teensy tightrope launched 250 feet in the air–it ain’t the easiest thing to manage. It is shocking…and frightening…and depressing to see something visibly take hold of your body that you can’t control. And then there are those who minimize this experience because they think it’s “just a superficial thing”…which is an incredibly dismissive position to take when it’s not transforming your body. What many people don’t seem to understand is what the effect of something like Vitiligo can do to your mind: it will have you questioning your own beauty & value, reconsidering everything you think you know about yourself–deep stuff.”
Dayka developed the condition Vitiligo around 9 years ago. She first noticed spots appearing below her belly button which later spread to her back and then to her shoulders, breasts, stomach and face. Dayka experienced lots of stares and having Vitiligo affected her emotionally. But today Dayka has accepted her that her Vitiligo does not define who she is.
She said “Vitiligo has caused me to reexamine my beliefs & values–to be clear about who I say I am and the ways that I am/am not showing up like I intend to. I believe in the power of intention and living in personal integrity, which is to honor yourself by being/doing who & what you say you are. This experience has expanded my faith and reminded me of what I know to be true–that I am not this body, but the essence of Dayka is created in my soul…the untouchable, undefinable, perfect, all-knowing Source on the inside. And I don’t mean that in a cheesy way but truly, when we transition out of this life, our bodies remain but our souls–the very essence that makes us who we are–are what leave and THAT is what those who remain mourn over. So I continuously affirm to myself that I am not this body, and that everything I need for my journey on this path is already within. I am not devoid of anything, nothing about my life is a mistake, and how my body was created is intrinsically tied to who I’m supposed to be in this world. I don’t know that I would be so clear about this truth without having journeyed through this experience.”
Keloid Scars occur when a protein called collagen gathers around damaged skin and builds up to help a wound seal over. However, instead of fading and becoming smooth like normal scar tissue, Keloid Scarring doesn’t stop growing and invades healthy skin making the area bigger than the original wound. According to the NHS, 10-15% of all wounds turn into Keloid Scars and they can occur anywhere on the body but they are more common on the chest, shoulders, neck and head.
Keloid scars are often shiny, hairless, hard or rubbery, raised above the skin, red, purple, brown or pale. They are usually painless but some can cause pain, a burning sensation, itchiness, tenderness and limited movement particularly if located on a joint. Many Keloid Scars can last for years and sometimes do not form straight away. Instead, they form months or years after the initial injury has occurred.
The reason why Keloid scarring occurs isn’t known but what is known is that the scarring is not cancerous nor is it contagious. Keloid Scars also sometimes occur when the skin suffers minor damage. For example, if the skin is burnt or even if you’ve got scarring from chicken pox or Acne. Because of the appearance of Keloid Scarring, some people may feel embarrassed or upset by the appearance of the scarring. However, GPs offer support and advice surrounding the topic so don’t be afraid to seek help.
Perioral Dermatitis is a skin condition that is often mistaken for Rosacea. According to the National Rosacea Society, Perioral Dermatitis causes a red and bumpy rash to form on the lower portion of the face, particularly around the mouth. The appearance of Perioral Dermatitis can look very similar to the pimples and spots of Subtype 2 Rosacea which explains why it is often mistaken for the condition.
The cause of Perioral Dermatitis is said to be close to an allergic reaction rather than being classed as a chronic inflammatory condition. Many medical professionals state that the condition could be caused by the use of hash cosmetics, fluorinated toothpaste, steroid creams, steroid sprays, sunscreen and other products.
The condition differs from Rosacea because with Rosacea the cause is unknown but with Perioral Dermatitis the cause is said to be clearer with triggers being easier to spot. That being said Perioral Dermatitis still isn’t completely understood and some professionals think there may be a link between the condition and Epidermal barrier dysfunction, activation of the innate immune system, altered cutaneous microflora and follicular fusiform bacteria. Perioral Dermatitis can affect anyone but according to DermNet New Zealand the condition often appears in women between the ages of 15 and 45 years and is less common in men.
Beck Lomas is a 22-year-old fitness blogger from Australia who recently took to Instagram to share a message with her followers. Beck shared a no makeup selfie and explained how at times her skin gets her down but it does not define who she is.
Beck said: “Haven’t done a post like this in a while so here goes. THIS is my current situation. A pimply, bleeding, sore face. It doesn’t look THAT bad, but it feels prettttty bad. My skin will always be a journey in itself, I don’t think I will ever be one of those girls who feels completely okay without makeup, but that’s fine. Even when my skin is at it’s best, which does happen sometimes, when I don’t have any big angry pimples and everything looks quite smooth, I’m still a little self conscious… I feel like I can’t wear singlets or backless tops because my skin on my back is still quite bad, which kind of upsets me. But just because I’m not completely confident with my skin, doesn’t mean I’m not a confident person. I’ve come a long way from the girl who used to cry every single night about the way her skin looked. These days my skin is just a minor downer for me sometimes. This post is just to show you all that you should be confident despite your little flaws. We all have things that kill our confidence a little sometimes, no one is completely perfect, and something that might seem like the end of the world for you, may go unnoticed by everyone else. Happy people are the most beautiful people, and i know it’s hard to feel happy when you’re focusing on your imperfections- but I just want to let you all know that you are beautiful EVEN if you have acne, or bacne, or cellulite, or your thighs touch or you’ve got stretch marks. You beautiful and unique and amazing as you are, and being confident and happy and that will shine through and make you even more beautiful! THESE are my imperfections, they make me sad sometimes but they’re not who I am, and they aren’t going to kill my confidence, so don’t let your imperfections kill your confidence!”
Rozella Marie Mahjhrin is an upcoming musician from Malaysia. Rozella was born with a facial birthmark. Because of the prominent look of her birthmark, Rozella received lots of stares, attention and comments from strangers whilst growing up. Rozella was even approached by strangers, salespeople and even family members who offered to “fix” her birthmark. Rozella told The Sun Daily: “From a very young age, I was going for whitening and laser treatments, facials, and trying different supplements, but nothing worked. They made me feel worse – as if there’s something wrong with me that I had to be fixed.” Recalling an insensitive comment from a date Rozella said: “They would say, ‘You’re actually pretty and slim – if only you didn’t have the birthmark.”
Although many of the comments Rozella received weren’t intentionally hurtful the musician’s self-esteem took a knock. This caused Rozella to stay away from the limelight, despite having a great talent for singing. Speaking of growing up in a house filled with music Rozella said: “We’ve always had music at home. I had my first cassette when I was five, and my first CD at 11. I sung and hummed melodies in my head, and wrote songs just for fun. Music has always been my coping mechanism.” Because of her great talent, Rozella was encouraged to perform in front of her class. Rozella said: “Kids being kids, everyone started laughing. I was already very shy, awkward and insecure. So I got so traumatised by that.”
Nowadays Rozella is a lot more confident after taking a chance and relocating to Kuala Lumpur after electropop artist Darren Ashley agreed to collaborate. Rozella and her band also decided to enter Tiger Jams, a competition for musicians. Rozella was coached by Darren Ashley during the competition and even went on to win. Rozella said “Moving here was probably the best decision I’ve made. There’s not a lot of opportunities in Sabah because the scene is really small, and the bands there are more cover-centric. Here, there are many open-mikes and venues which support original music.”
Because of Rozella’s musical involvement, she was able to overcome her fears leading her to embrace her true self. Rozella also took part in a photography project called True Complexion which is a page that features inspirational people who have physical, mental and emotional characteristics to challenge society’s perception of beauty and normality.
Aiesha Robinson is a lady who was diagnosed with the condition Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition that causes white patches to develop on the skin due to the body mistakenly attacking healthy cells which produce the skin’s pigment Melanin. Others with the condition include Winnie Harlow, Laiea Walsh, April Star and Tanesha Brown. When first diagnosed with the condition Aisha was devastated but today she is determined to help others with Vitiligo. She told the CT News Montreal: “I had a small white dot my right thumb, I was already self-conscious and I had already had low self-esteem, so to add this to the pile… it wasn’t a great time, no. Walking down the streets and you have people staring at you and making negative comments, it’s something entirely different.”
After Aiesha’s brother convinced her that her life was just beginning she founded Born To Rise, a non-profit support group that has evolved into a place for other people with Vitiligo to speak out. When Aiesha first developed Vitiligo she felt devastated however having recently signed a modelling contract and spoken at World Vitiligo Day to a crowd in Washington D.C. she has found her strength. Aisha said: “We all are going through something in our lives. We are all born to rise, in the sense that you weren’t born to be a failure. You were born to overcome whatever adversity it is.”
Laura Gregory is a young lady who was diagnosed with Vitiligo when she was 12 years old. Vitiligo is a long-term condition which causes white patches to develop when there is a lack of Melanin in the skin. Melanin is the chemical that gives our skin its pigment and colour. When Laura attended school she was teased by classmates who joked that she had a bad spray tan or birthmarks.
However, today Laura has begun to embrace her Vitiligo and has become a successful model and beauty queen. Laura told The Daily Mail “I used to cover up any way I could, disguise the white patches that crept over my body. I used to wonder if it would affect work or relationships and I’d hide behind make-up. Now I want to embrace it and show that beauty comes in all forms and we really have to love the skin we are in. At every stage of my life I’ve questioned if vitiligo will hold me back. I now have patches forming on my hands feet, chest, shins, inner thighs, neck and now my face. I’ve always kept my vitiligo under wraps, but now as it spreads I feel it’s time to put it out there and refuse to cover it. I’ve had insecurities my whole life and that shouldn’t stop you chasing dreams. No one should feel the need to hide, but equally if they want to, then they should be respected.”
Laiea Walsh is an American young lady who has the condition Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a condition that causes white patches to develop on the skin due to a lack of pigment. Growing up Laiea found living with her condition difficult. She told the The Daily Mail: “At school I really struggled with it. I wrote sad letters, feeling as if no one understood me. I would only wear long sleeves and always try to hide the vitiligo. I wouldn’t say I was suicidal but I definitely thought life would be better without me. It took a long time to accept myself as beautiful and that changed when I started modelling and doors began to open. I’ve been confused as Winnie Harlow – people think I am her. Personally I don’t think we look alike but I can see the confusion because of the vitiligo. Obviously it’s a compliment. She is beautiful, I am beautiful. People come up to me and want to take photos with me, especially young people.”
However today Laiea is a lot more confident and is embracing her distinctive look. Much like Winnie Harlow Laiea is pursuing her dream of becoming a model. At age 13 Laiea was scouted by a modelling agency. After Laiea’s selfies were discovered online she has appeared in magazines across America and represents brands Diesel and Desigual. Her goal is to make other women feel beautiful. As well as working as a model Laiea also works as vice president from Delaware Fashion Week. Today Laiea is using her platform to encourage women through a community mentoring programmed. Laiea said “I want to bring others to see their own beauty and feel beautiful from the inside. I think it’s important to use this platform. I never post anything negative online. I thought to myself how I can use it to bring a positive change. Through modelling I can show what real beauty is, I never thought I would be able to do what I love.”
Melanocytic Nevus is a type of skin lesion that contains nevus cells which are a type of melanocyte. Melanocytes are what produce the skin’s pigment, also known as melanin. Many people refer to Melanocytic Nevi as moles whilst others refer to the lesions are birthmarks. In terms of appearance, Melanocytic Nevi tend to be black or brown and are darker in colour compared to the rest of the skin. That being said, Melanocytic Nevi can also appear pink or flesh coloured. When it comes to the texture some Melanocytic Nevi are raised, some are flat and all vary in shape and size.
The cause of the of Melanocytic Nevi is currently unknown but studies have found that they are caused by a defect during the stages when an embryo forms and develops. This defect is said to cause an increase in pigment-producing cells. Cells then cluster together and form what are known as Melanocytic Nevi. The lesions appear pretty much anywhere on the body but are often benign meaning that they are harmless. According to the British Association of Dermatology “There is very little risk of melanoma growing from an individual mole, except for the very largest congenital melanocytic naevi. However, people with the largest numbers of moles, especially atypical or dysplastic moles, are at higher risk of developing melanoma” Inspirational people who have Melanocytic Nevi include Ciera Swaringen, Yulianna Yussef and Cassandra Naud.
Giorgia Piscina is a young Australian lady who recently revealed that she was born with a birthmark that covers half of her face. Giorgia was born in England but moved to Australia when she was 8 years old. Giorgia trained as a gymnast, was a competitive cheerleader and also competed as a bikini model. Giorgia also recently competed for a $250,000 one-year contract with wrestling entertainment company WWE after being selected for the US reality TV show WWE Tough Enough. According to news.com.au Giorgia first spotted the opportunity after it was posted on Facebook. She said “When I saw it I thought hell yeah, I’m interested. That involves everything I’ve done — the gymnastics, the cheerleading, performing on stage with modelling — all of them brought together would make me the ideal WWE Diva. When I saw the opportunity I thought this really makes sense. I do believe everything happens for a reason so when I saw it I thought ‘this is calling me’.”
However, Giorgia hasn’t always been so confident. She recently shared an image on her Instagram account revealing a birthmark. On her post, Giorgia said “I was born with a birthmark that covers pretty much the whole left side of my cheek…it’s affected my life in a major way. Growing up I had to deal with all sorts of comments. This affected me so much that I had to go to counselling and eventually forced my parents into trying to find a solution. They researched the best laser surgery in England and we tried several times to remove it. Nothing worked. So I tried the next best thing…make-up. I found the best camouflage guru in our area and we sat down and she taught me the long 40 minute step by step process on how to “hide” my mark.”
Today Giorgia accepts her birthmark, is much more confident and has a bright future ahead.