Indian woman has 'lost identity' over skin condition

A woman whose skin lost all its pigment as a result of an autoimmune condition has said she feels like she lost part of her identity.

Gurdeep Romanay from Windsor, Berkshire, has vitiligo, a condition where pale white patches develop on the skin due to a lack of melanin.

In some cases, such as Ms Romanay's, it can cause complete depigmentation of the skin.

She said that now she has pale skin a lot of people do not realise she is Indian, something she said was "really hard".

Ms Romanay first noticed a small white patch on her ankle when she was 10, but doctors did not know what it was.

The patch did not change or spread during her childhood.

"It was only into my late teens when I started to see a lot more pigmentation changing on my arms and my legs," she said.

She was referred to a dermatologist and finally received a diagnosis of vitiligo, and was told there was no cure.

Throughout her 20s and 30s, her vitiligo "spread very rapidly", and when the spots started to appear on her face she said it was "really hard".

She also found the unknown hard to deal with.

"Unfortunately vitiligo is one of those conditions where you never really know if it's going to get any better or worse," she said.

Now 48, Ms Romanay has no pigment left in her skin.

"A lot of people don't realise that I'm Indian because they see someone who's quite pale," she said.

"That makes it really incredibly hard because I do feel like I've lost that part of my identity."

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