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What is Vitiligo?

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Many people see Vitiligo as something very weird, and I happen to be one of the individuals who has obtained this skin condition. It’s easy to tell by all the stares and questions I get. Vitiligo occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning. The loss of skin color can affect any part of the body, including the mouth, hair, and eyes. I have Vitiligo on my eyelids, feet, hands, legs, stomach, mouth, and neck. It seems to be almost symmetrically in the same spots of each side of my body. A lot of people think I’m wearing eyeshadow because of my Vitiligo.

Treatment may improve the appearance of the skin but doesn’t cure the disease. I have had Vitiligo for as long as I can remember. Vitiligo affects only 1% of the world’s population. Even though it is rare to have this condition, more than 200,000 people around the world have Vitiligo. Some individuals have Vitiligo all throughout their body, just as I do, while others could only have one spot that is visible.

Having this disease is something serious to take care of, even if it doesn’t seem very urgent. Sunscreen is very important because with all of the lost pigment, the skin becomes more sensitive and unprotected. It is passed on genetically, but doctors do not know the actual cause of Vitiligo. A lot of people that I’ve researched on about Vitiligo is that they are, or once were, ashamed of it. Personally, I love the extravagant patterns and the beauty it adds to me. I was never once ashamed of it. A majority of the times I forget I even have it. I walk out of my house with no concern regarding it. After the questions pass about my Vitiligo, it’s like it was never even mentioned before. I get multiple compliments about my Vitiligo, and have been told many times that it fits me perfectly. I have been told by my friends and family that they couldn’t even imagine me with it. I appreciate the permanent shapes it has welded int0 my skin. It was a present from God, and I could never, and would never, wish to return such a unique gift that was made just for me.

About the Writer
Hailey Schroeder, staff writer

My name is Hailey Schroeder, and I am sixteen years old. I was born on May 7th of 2002. My ethnicity is half Mexican and half Polish. I have a skin condition called Vitiligo. I enjoy playing sports, but my main sport is softball. I am a catcher, first baseman, and an outfielder. Preferably center fielder. I am very kind and caring to my peers. Including my four siblings. Two of them are girls, while the other two are boys. My favorite type of food is Italian. All in all, I may not sound anywhere near interesting but I am actually very enthusiastic and fun. 

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What is Vitiligo?