By Rebecca Drew
THIS INSPIRATIONAL British mother is learning to embrace her vitiligo after it left her with white patches scattered across her skin and fearing her boyfriend would leave her.
Nail technician and mum-of-two Nancy Powell (34) from West Thurrock, Essex, UK, first noticed two white spots on her knuckles whilst on holiday with her now husband eight years ago. Nancy didn’t think any more about it until five months after she gave birth to her son when her vitiligo spread on her hands, around her mouth and face.
As a teenager, she was bullied for having acne which had only just cleared up when her vitiligo appeared. This left her feeling confused about what was happening and afraid her then boyfriend, who has now been her husband for a decade, would leave her.
Now she wants to raise awareness for the condition.
“I first got my vitiligo spots when my husband and I were on holiday in Lanzarote and I decided to sunbathe for the first time ever, and when we got back to our hotel I noticed two little white spots on my knuckles but thought nothing of it until they began to get bigger,” she said.
“Five months after I gave birth to my son it flared up on my hands and the began to develop on my face around my lips.
“To be honest I was quite mortified because I had just got over my acne I had as a teenager and young adult, I was bullied about my skin and it knocked my confidence back then but I found something that worked and cleared it, I then began building my confidence and when I felt most comfortable about my skin this happened.
“I was worried if my boyfriend would still find me attractive or even still want to be with me. He did and now he is my husband of nearly ten years.
“It has taken me so long to accept what was happening to my skin but since filming a channel four programme it helped me tremendously and has motivated me to bring more awareness about vitiligo.”
Nancy, who has non-segmental vitiligo, is the only person in her family affected and was shocked by how unhelpful the dermatologist was when she was first diagnosed. She says her son loves it when she embraces her natural beauty.
“I went to see the dermatologist and he handled my situation very inconsiderately, he said I’ve seen this hundreds of times and your skin will either heal on its own or continue to develop white spots and it’s something you will have to just deal with,” she said.
“I was absolutely shocked by his response.
“My parents thought it was quite strange in the very beginning like I did but as time went on they were used to seeing me with my new look.
“My son loves when I don’t wear makeup and he says that mummy is prettier and has even told me that some of my white patches are shaped like hearts.
“Every day I take small steps towards accepting and embracing my skin, I currently want to bring as much awareness about vitiligo as possible and I want be the best example to my children.
“To anyone else, I would like to say you’re not alone and you are beautiful. Take every day as it comes and embrace yourself with or without makeup, ultimately just try and be your own kind of beauty.”
For more information see www.instagram.com/nancypowe11