“I have howled alone in the bedroom and in the bathroom for hours, as I did not want my parents to see me crumble emotionally. I have wondered why this had happened to me, felt resentful, cheated, short-changed. I have tried every possible treatment. But nothing has healed me as much as my personal acceptance of my skin condition,” confesses Ninu Galot, a model who works in her family’s real-estate business. It has been an emotionally trying period of 14 years for her. She is determined to spread awareness about vitiligo, a condition that leaves the skin patchy because melanin-producing cells die or malfunction. Galot hopes to generate awareness and acceptance about it, especially in India, which is why she speaks about it openly. Here, she shares her own journey.

The early years

It started as a white patch, the size of a one-rupee coin, at the back of her neck, at 11. Nothing more. Suddenly, it began to spread in 2004, once she graduated from Kingston University. “I panicked. I used steroid creams, homoeopathy… nothing worked. Instead, this resulted in a reaction and the patches spread all over my body. I began to wear full-sleeved clothes to cover up my skin as I felt acutely conscious. I tried to use make-up to camouflage the patches, but it ended up spotlighting them,” says Galot.

Shilpi Madan for The Hindu

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