A young woman has shared a powerful picture of her unique tattoo to raise awareness of her skin condition.
Imgur user twalks, real name Tiffany Grant (nee Posteraro), posted her image with a selection of other photos of people with vitiligo, explaining the causes of the condition and how it had affected her confidence.
In the collection, entitled ‘Vitiligo sucks’, Tiffany wrote, ‘Vitiligo, is a chronic skin condition characterized by portions of the skin losing their pigment. It occurs when skin pigment cells die or are unable to function. Aside from cases of contact with certain chemicals,the cause of vitiligo is unknown.
‘If you’re lucky vitiligo impacts only smaller portions of your body. When I first started to notice it on myself it was just on my hands.
‘The blotches of skin where pigmentation is void had no pattern or reason, it is generally random. For those living with vitiligo it tends to make ourselves more self conscious about it then others.
‘The areas of the body where vitiligo can appears is everywhere. From your scalp and hair. Note how it also causes hair to go white, beards included. It can be on your face, upper body, groin and lower body.
‘I know this isn’t a life threatening disease and in some rare cases can be successfully treated. When people stare at you because your skin is different or think you’ve suffered an accident it starts to wear down your confidence. I know this will go nowhere but its made me feel better just getting it out there. Thanks to those who have read it.’
See posts, photos and more on Facebook.
Tiffany, pictured with her husband, wants to create an understanding of vitiligo
When Tiffany first got her tattoo in August 2015, she told The Daily Mail that she’d previously been bullied about her skin, with children at school calling her ‘dalmation’ and ‘burns victim’.
She tried to cover her vitiligo with make up and spray tans, but after seeing America’s Next Top Model contestant Winnie Harlow, who has the same condition, and meeting a fellow sufferer who introduced her to online support networks, Tiffany’s confidence grew.
‘After that I just thought, why should I hide who I am? It’s exhausting,’ she said.
‘Now I only wear a little bit of make-up and the rest of my body I don’t cover at all. I wear shorts and don’t care what anyone thinks.’
When asked the meaning behind the tattoo, she explained, ‘I wanted to share with people what it is because that way they would learn something, rather than stigmatising.
‘I decided to get the tattoo for that reason – to answer the questions in their heads and give them something to actually stare at.
‘Now people are like, “I love your tattoo”. They ask questions about the condition and go away enlightened.
‘They know I didn’t get burnt in a fire. They know there’s a term for what I have.’