Thursday, August 18, 2011

"I Guess We'll Find Out"

This is the response I would love to give and I do give over and over in my head to the adults, who so rudely ask if my daughter is contagious all the while looking at me like “how could you expose my kids to that”.  Well the, that I am talking about is Vitiligo.  Vitiligo: is a skin condition in which there is a loss of brown color (pigment) from areas of skin, resulting in irregular white patches that feel and look like normal skin.  It is not contagious you can’t catch it from touching her, it is an autoimmune disorder in most cases. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigmentation, die or are unable to function.  Kaleigh started getting white patches on her skin when she was around three years old if you see her in a bathing suit you would notice it is mostly on her knees, shins, elbows and forearms the reason being that she is a rough and tumble tom boy and she wrecks on her bike and whenever she scratches herself up the healing skin has lost its pigment.  If you ask her about it she will tell you what it is, Vitiligo and she will walk off as that is that and there is nothing else to the story. She has lived with it now for almost 6 years and as it doesn’t concern her she doesn’t think it should concern you either.  Man kids are great.
This post comes from summer, the time when more people notice Kaleigh’s white patches.  There is the obvious reason she is wearing shorts and tshirts and you can see them easier but also Kaleigh and Lauryn both got blessed with their daddy’s skin.  Shane tans unbelievably dark, it is skin I wish I had we always laugh because even when I am dark for me if I put my arm or leg next to him I look flourescent white almost glow in the dark.  So Kaleigh’s white skin really stands out aginiast her other very dark tanned skin.  Now my kids don’t burn I mean it just doesn’t happen I can count on one hand in the almost 9 years how many times they have burned they just always turn dark.  But because Kaleigh has no pigment in those white patches her chances of skin cancer are increased ten fold, so she is always bathing in sunscreen nothing less than SPF 50.  Now that brings me to treatment.  When we first found out about Kaleigh vitiligo the dermatologist gave me two things that day, one was to always be thankful because yes she has this but she isn’t dying, and two was a tube of steriod cream to rub on the white spots to see if we could get them to repigment.  This treatment works on some and not on others.  Well whether it was going to work on Kaleigh or not we never found out because my three old started to think there was something wrong with her and wanted to wear long sleeves and pants all the time I just couldn’t do it any longer.  With that we went back to the dermatologist and she said words I will never forget “then just stop using it, it is about her not you and I”.
I haven’t brought up treatment since we stopped using that although I have gone and looked online to see what treatments are available as I know one day she will ask about it.  And I am hoping I have some ideas of treatments we can use.  The other day while I was out looking I found a natural treatment a cream that you rub on that is all natural ingreidents and then you spend so much time in the sun and it encourages your skin to repigment itself, it has a 100% money back guarantee and will last forever once the skin is repigmented.  I am thinking about actually trying this on Kaleigh legs next summer to see if it works as I am a believer that the earlier the treatment the better I just dn’t want her to become self conscious of her spots.  As I think/contemplate this and the other treatment options I hope I have educated a few parents about this and that you will share.
Thanks for reading!!


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