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Experience by a patient


 by Roshelle Pillay 


The first annual meeting amongst members of the vitiligo society preceding

its launch on the 17th of August 2008, at the Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban was held on Wednesday 27 August 2008. The societies chairman Yusuf

Ismail was present enabling members of the committee in reaching a



Everyone has the potential to develop vitiligo, irrespective of race,

colour or creed. It can be described as a metamorphosis that takes place

for reasons within and beyond our knowledge and understanding. It is a

process where by males and females of all age groups experience the

disappearance of their natural skin tone in segmented form. There is no

health risk as such when subjected to this condition but there is a

psychological impact.


The question arises " HOW CAN SOMETHING UTTERLY PAINLESS BRING FORTH SUCH PAIN?". Its tough stuff contending with modern day society.. so some patients opt for cover up make-up usages in turn patients are creating a false sense of self by masking their true identity and hiding from the

world. The vitiligo society of South Africa want to merge with the world.


The irony of the situation is that we as sufferers are giving way to

social isolation by covering up the facts, being a sufferer myself for the

past 13 years, I would love to walk into a room full of people for just

once without having to be stared at in most peculiar way..but over the

years I've come to the realisation that, that is human nature..people cast

downward stares and play on ignorance when faced with the unknown.


Our forum wants to educate and inform the public, not much light has been

shed on the topic of vitiligo. Patients of the condition naturally have

feelings of insecurity steaming mainly from the public response, the

ignorance and stigma attached to vitiligo is our plight.


The committee will host a morale boosting session at the Mandela Youth

Centre in Chatsworth, from 10:00AM to 12:00 noon on the 05th October 2008.

All patients as well as related individuals are invited to join us, if we

all come together as a unified front we will eventually filter societies



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