Why Spring Makes Me Feel Beautiful as a Person With Vitiligo
Some of my favorite parts of spring are the budding flowers on the trees, the smell of the brightening green grass, and the sounds of birds returning North. Spring is also interesting as a person with vitiligo. As it gets sunnier and my skin starts to tan, I get to see how my vitiligo spots have changed or what new spots have appeared.
As a child, still new to the vitiligo experience, I was terrified of finding new spots. Though they appeared gradually, I tended to only notice them when I tried on a new tank top or was significantly tan from a trip to the pool. When I found a new spot, I would cry. The tears didn’t last long before I accepted it and moved on, but there was still that initial reaction. I was afraid of being different and being stared at by other kids for having a visible difference.
So much has changed now that I’ve gotten older and more comfortable in my skin, both figuratively and literally. I went for a walk earlier today because the weather was perfect, and I found a series of new spots on top of my left foot. I also noticed how the vitiligo has progressed on my hands. Instead of crying, I was excited. My spots are so interesting and beautiful. Not to mention, there is a lot more public awareness of vitiligo now than when I was a kid, which has surely also contributed to this change.
Many of my old spots have re-pigmented over the years. This might be due to some UV light treatment we did when I was a kid, or because immune systems are random, and bodies continually change. Vitiligo is unpredictable. I don’t know where or how fast I will lose or regain pigment. I don’t know if new spots will always keep appearing over the years, though they likely will.
The consistent change is that I love my vitiligo now. It makes me feel interesting and beautiful. If anything, it adds to my confidence. The potential to find new spots is now one of my other favorite parts of spring.
Photo submitted by contributor.