There have been a few awareness days/weeks recently; Depression awareness, mental health awareness and one which I was not aware of, and have never spoken about, is birthmark awareness day on 15 May.
I was born with a light brown birthmark on my right side just under my ribs. It never bothered me and most of the time it remained hidden under my clothes. My mother had a nasty birthmark on her back which needed to be checked regularly for changes in appearance in case it was pre-cancerous and apparently my brother was born with a naevus which was removed at birth. It follows then that birthmarks appear to run in the family.
I was unaware of this until I reached the tender age of 12, and a map of the UK appeared on my left knee. I went to the Dr thinking that it may be an allergic rash and spent many months treating it with various creams and potions. None of them worked and after about two years I was referred to a skin specialist who confirmed that it was a “birthmark”
I was a little confused as I had not had this scar on my knee since birth, but was told that they can appear in puberty when hormones kick in. Damn those hormones!
During my youth when I played a lot of sport, people would often comment on my birthmark thinking that it was a recent scar from an accident and I think they were more embarrassed than I was when I told them it was a permanent fixture.
Now I never wear mini-skirts, although some clothing does creep just above the knee, leaving the birthmark exposed. So far, no one has questioned it but it is only a metter of time.
I have been very open and honest about my depression and chronic fatigue and when I read about the birthmark awareness day I felt I had to own up to mine 🙂 It does affect what I wear and I am conscious of it everyday but at least I can hide it to some extent. Some people can’t and have to live everyday with stares and questions. A birthmark doesn’t change someones beauty and talent. It doesn’t and shouldn’t make any difference at all so good on those who openly celebrate birthmark awareness day. I know I will in future.