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Cover-up consultation...any advice?

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#1 nickisboi25

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:42 AM

Since joining these forums I can't explain how much so many people have helped me, so I wanted to start by saying thank you!

I'm lucky enough to be getting a consultation and application lesson for camouflage makeup to cover up my Morphea on my stomach. Trust me I know I'm incredibly fortunate that so far my experience with Morphea is a mild cosmetic issue and for that I'm grateful but seeing the way its changed my skin does get me down. I'll be the first to admit that I care about looks way more than I should but please try not to label me vain, shallow or superficial. I'm still young and maybe as I get older that part of me will change.

I wanted to know if any of you have had any experience with makeup to cover up your marks/scars?

#2 Joelf

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:23 AM

Hi Nickisboi,

I do understand how you feel about your looks and I certainly wouldn't dismiss the effect that the Morphea patches have on your body image. There's nothing wrong with wanting to improve the way we look......through my own vanity I came to grief trying to have my unsightly varicose veins removed. I shan't bore you with the rather long and tedious story now; if you'd like the gruesome details here's a link to my post on the subject! ;)

We have a useful page on Corrective cosmetics which although it primarily refers to Telangiectasia, should be of interest to you. We also have a thread here about concealer and make up.

I do hope that you get on well with your consultation and application lesson for camouflage makeup and that it proves very helpful for you.

Should you come across any suggestions on how to look younger, please let me know!! ;) :lol:

Kind regards,

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#3 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 12:56 PM

Hi Nickisboi,

I hope you find some cosmetic(s) that are helpful for covering up the morphea. Just remember that you will need "corrective" cosmetics or even possibly stage makeup (like actors use). I used stage makeup, when I appeared in community theatre in a previous lifetime, and it might be a good option for you, especially if you want to use it for swimming. One of its characteristics is that it can be nigh impossible to get off, which is probably what you are looking for. Just beware that some cosmetics might also transfer to clothing, perhaps creating grease stains, too. So ask a lot of questions and try a lot of different types; you may want different ones for different occasions.

Another thing to consider is UVA1 Phototherapy, which can be good at clearing up morphea skin involvement (and also systemic scleroderma skin involvement).

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

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#4 Buttons

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:02 AM

Hi Nickisboi,

I use camouflage makeup for some bad marks on my face and find it quite good but it does take some time getting used to putting it on and finding a way which works for you. I was referred to the Red Cross here in the UK by my consultant. I had a consultation with them and they tried different types of cream and powder to find the one which was most suitable to cover my marks and then gave me a prescription to take to my general practitioner. It did take a few weeks to get it because the chemist had to order it in for me. It does have a sun protect in it so is great for the sunny days.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Take Care
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#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:40 PM

Nickisboi,have you had your consultation yet?
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#6 nickisboi25

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:18 AM

Thank you all for your responses. Shelley, my appointment is this coming Monday...nervous isn't the word! I'm trying not to think about it too much or get too excited for it. Dealing with the effects of Morphea is understandably difficult but for me it might just be a little bit harder.

I go to counselling as earlier this year I was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). For those who aren't aware of it, its a mental illness where the individual has an unhealthy, often negative, obsession with their looks and appearance. Having that alone would be bad enough but to actually have a physical condition that changes the way you look, sometimes makes me feel its impossible to live a normal life. I get so low on an almost daily basis. Just a short while ago I was crying my eyes out because I noticed a small patch of red skin on my leg when I was in the bath. All these thoughts came into my head and I'm scared its a blister caused by the Morphea.

To call everyday a living difficult would probably sound extreme but at times it feels that way. I know that so far I'm incredibly fortunate to only have mild cosmetic issues as a result of my Morphea but I constantly wonder what would happen if it worsened and how I'd cope on a psychological level...if I even could. If you're reading this and think I'm just over dramatic or attention seeking, then believe me you do NOT know BDD. Trust me crying at home everyday isn't a fun way to live your life.

I'm sorry to veer off topic but now I hope things become a little clearer. I'm not ashamed of the fact I have BDD or Morphea. I'm just a young guy who's really scared because he doesn't know how he's gonna cope with either.

#7 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

Hi Nickisboi,

I'm sorry that you also have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). I'm delighted that you are getting counselling for it, as that is way beyond what we can help with via the forums; simply over our heads, so to speak, since as you know we are not counselors or any sort, nor do we pretend to be. I imagine that it would be a million times worse to deal with BDD than with morphea alone.

A scleroderma expert once commented to me that he imagined it is probably preferential for anyone with scleroderma to be a little bit out of touch with reality; that is, looking on the rosier side of things.

Many of us detach a little bit -- not in an overtly pathological way, mind you, but just enough to cushion the inroads that it can make it our daily lives or even our appearance. Being a little too positive might spare us from some anxiety or depression and help us tackle scleroderma in a productive fashion. But being over-the-top positive might prevent us from seeking appropriate medical advice and taking good care of ourselves and thus hasten our demise, which would not be healthy by anyone's standards.

Oddly enough, BDD is also a form of being out of touch with reality, but in the wrong direction. It takes a lot of imagination and determination to figure a situation is either better, or worse, than it actually is, so at least you may have the building blocks (a good imagination and determination) to help turn your situation around, in a healthy fashion.

So without a doubt you will find the peace of mind and confidence that you are seeking; it is only a matter of time and patience, and working with your healing program. Just keep on telling yourself that you have the "building blocks" that it takes to create a better life for yourself. But of course, building anything takes time, so please indulge yourself with patience, which we all need when we are on a healing path.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#8 judyt

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:35 PM

Hi Nickisboi,
I was interested to read your latest post, and believe me, as far as I am concerned, being frank and open about what ails us is certainly the more helpful way to go. Thank you for letting us know what is going on with your health - it makes it easier for all of us to understand and be supportive.

In my own case for example I have had Systemic Scleroderma for sure since 1966 when I was 22, and more recently I have realised that it probably started when I was 10 or 11. In addition, I had Rheumatic Fever some time in childhood which is now starting to show it's effects on my heart. As well, I have Sjogren's Syndrome and a Liver which is Chirrotic and in the throes of diagnosis. BUT I don't have any visible effects. To the casual observer walking down the street or at the swimming pool I look as fit and healthy as the next person.

Just because there is nothing to see actually doesn't actually help the muddle inside one's head. In my youth "my" sport was Competitive swimming and try as I might with a training and fitness routine which probably wore my mother ragged (an observation I am able to make now only on hindsight as a mother myself) I could never achieve to my "potential". I got tired of being told I needed to try harder and as I got more mature and became a mother myself I got good at blaming my lazy nature for my failings. My inability to keep up with other parents in all sorts of ways was a frustration which caused me to suffer from moderate depression just at the time when my kids needed a sorted and useful mother.

Since diagnosis in 2003 and joining these forums some years later all these problems have explained themselves and now that I am too old and tired to do anything about it I can accept with good grace the deal life has given me. It would have been nice to know sooner, and it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to take advantage of modern medical knowledge years ago, but it wasn't to be so I just have to accept that.

I have told you all this not as a lecture to pull yourself together but to let you know that we do understand something of what you are going through, and to let you know that with good medical treatment at this stage, things can get easier to cope with.

It is not unusual for some of us to have multiple illnesses, in some cases each one more rare and bizarre than the last but it is possible to have a good life with good friends and a faithful family and in the end that is what counts really isn't it?

My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the good luck in the world in your quest to find a peaceful path.

Best wishes from the upside down side of the world.
Judyt

#9 nickisboi25

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

Thank you for your responses.

Shelley I love when you said "please indulge yourself with patience". I think that's really significant and is one of the things I often forget. I also like your take on "building blocks". BDD is indeed very draining and my friends have often said that it must be very tiring being me. If I can utilize that same energy to, as you rightly said change my life for the better, I think I'll be ok.

Judyt I have to say what surprised me initially was the fact you're from New Zealand! I think it's amazing how this forum brings people from all over the world together. I agree with you that now I'm receiving the medical help I need, there's a good chance of me getting to an ok place.

Its so nice to know I'm not alone on this journey and since joining these forums recently, I've spoken to more people who understand what I'm going through than I have in my entire life. My ultimate goal is to one day get to a place of peace within myself and be living proof and inspiration to someone else that you CAN live a good life in spite of life's problems.

#10 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:24 PM

Hello Nickisboi,

Now that's something to contend with! BDD is no laughing matter and that you are able to even discuss it with us is amazing as is your aim to one day be able to support others with BDD. It's a great aim to have and wanting to help others with scleroderma helped me cope with my disease, it gave me a focus other than myself,

Are there any BDD support groups that you can join? Maybe one with an online forum like this one?

Let us know how you get on and keep posting.

Take care.
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#11 nickisboi25

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

Hi Amanda, I completely agree with you about focusing on others to help me in my recovery. To me it's almost like body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) goes beyond simply me. Yes it's affecting me but it's so much bigger than just getting me down. It affects so many people, as does Scleroderma.

Regarding a BDD support forum, I've visited a few. The emphasis on Sclero Forums is definitely on positivity and healthy coping methods. Sadly this was not the same on the BDD forums. Maybe because BDD is such a debilitating disease. I just didn't feel it was productive to be in a place with so many people who shared many of my unhealthy thoughts. As with a lot of mental illnesses it was a situation that had a high risk of triggering my own bad experiences. Luckily I have an amazing counselor!

As I previously said, I'm not ashamed of my BDD or Morphea but I want to keep my posts on this forum mainly based on the latter. I had an interesting talk with my counselor about approaching my makeup consultation with a calm and rational mindset. I don't want to become reliant on covering up my Morphea to get some self esteem, I just want to explore the options available to me. In an ideal world I wouldn't need it but I just want it there for when it gets too much.

It might sound crazy but sometimes I think all I am is my Morphea. I have to cover the marks on my stomach with my hand when I look in the mirror just to remind myself I am a complete person and Morphea is just a small part of me. I've lost count of the times I've felt guilty for letting a few patches of darker skin impact my life so severely but I've finally accepted this is my personal struggle and no one can tell me my problems aren't valid. It's okay not to be okay, I'm perfectly human.

Sorry for the lengthy post. It's just incredible to finally have found people I can connect with! I can't wait to tell you all how I get on on Monday :)

#12 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

Hello Nickisboi25

Well at least you tried to find a BDD forum. I have always said that positivity seems to be a hallmark of people with scleroderma and you're proving the point! Hope your appointment goes/has gone well (time difference) and let us know when you're ready. As a person with morphea I'd be interested to hear about the make up consultation.

Take care.
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#13 nickisboi25

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:22 PM

Hi Amanda and all,

I had my appointment today and WOW was I surprised! The sheer range of makeup on offer is pretty amazing and the results are really good. As I'm sure a lot of you know, Morphea can change the texture of your skin and indent it, but even with these obstacles, a very good result can be achieved. I'd be lying if I said it was 100% perfect but it genuinely can make the Morphea practically unnoticeable, however everyone is of course different. My appointment was with Changing Faces and arranged through my doctor via referral. The makeup artist was so lovely and they truly are an amazing organization. If anyone in the UK is considering looking into camouflage makeup, I would highly recommend them.

But that wasn't the real surprise. For as good as the makeup looks...it's not me! Believe me, NO ONE is more surprised by this admission than I am. I honestly thought that I would feel a million dollars when my "ugly skin" was covered up but I just feel like a bit of a fraud. Yes my skin looks closer to what is the "norm" set by society but at what expense? Why am I allowing other people's preconceptions and rules to determine my worth, how about I set my own standard of beauty! I've always said the worst thing you can be in life is generic and that's exactly how I feel right now. At least when my Morphea is there I feel like myself.

I think today has been an invaluable experience and might have just taught me more than I know. I'm gonna leave the makeup on till tomorrow and see how I feel, but to be honest I'm far more excited about the changes happening in my mind than the cosmetic changes I see on my body.

#14 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:29 AM

Hello Nickisboi25

I am excited for you too and no doubt others are as well. That's quite a leap forward but do remember that sometimes this can be followed by a few steps back. I don't say that to rain on your parade but to put things in perspective...easy does it, baby steps and all that.

Take care and keep posting.
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#15 Joelf

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:25 AM

Hi Nickisboi,

I'm so pleased that you had a good and helpful appointment and that you're feeling a little happier and more confident.

Onwards and upwards now!! :emoticons-yes:

Kind regards,

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#16 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:44 PM

I recently had a neck surgery so there is still a fresh (red) scar at the base of my neck, even though they used plastic surgery techniques with it. It is softened, almost to the point of being invisible, by a powder foundation.

The trick is that the powder has to very closely resemble the skin in the area where you'll use it (not the skin on your face or hand, for instance, if the color is different), and that it has to be put on in three or four layers, with a moisturizer first of all. The moisturizer helps it "hold" the excess layers and helps to prevent it from wearing off or "snowing" onto clothing. The same technique works for hiding face rashes, telangiectasia, etc. I just use more layers on the problem spots (not all over).

My makeup technician said that I need to use concealer over my entire face (I tried not to cry when she said that!) but I find that takes too long and it looks a lot more artificial than layering the powder foundation. I don't have morphea on my face though, so I wouldn't know what techniques would really work for it.

However, there is the age old beauty trick of distraction, distraction, distraction which I used to good effect when I had a nasty mole-type growth on the end of my nose. Make any other spot in the area a lot more dramatic. For example, lots of eye shadow, or a bright lipstick (just not both together), a fancy hat or pin in the hair; absolutely anything at all that draws the eye towards what you want people to notice which automatically draws their eye away. When I exclaimed that I was so happy that I finally had the Nose Thing removed, one of my friends said that seriously, she hadn't even noticed it. Now, she could have been a good friend and didn't want to tell me, or seriously, the distraction may have worked its charm.

:emoticons-group-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#17 nickisboi25

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

Hi All!

Thank you Joelf for the kind words, onwards and upwards indeed!

Amanda I completely agree with you that progress is never a straight line and there will no doubt be bumps in the road and steps back. As long as I ultimately progress forward, I'm more than happy to take the bad with the good.

Shelley distraction is a really good way of handling the things we aren't so keen on. My friends always tell me confidence and the way I view my Morphea is ultimately what will determine how other people view it. Another age old trick, "If I don't mind, they won't either". While this isn't always true, I'm starting to believe what my friends have been telling me for ages. The way I carry myself and the respect I give myself are fundamental parts of how I can live with my Morphea. I've taken your advice to hand and I'm indulging myself with patience. Patience to learn to love myself for who I am and patience to claim back the happiness, confidence and peace I deserve.

The makeup I used was very thick in texture and can stay on for up to 4 days. The setting powder really worked well and no residue was left on my clothes. Its basically a case of finding your color match (you can mix colors to achieve a good match), letting it heat up on the back of your hand and then applying it to the area. A little goes a long way and subtle blending with your finger helps the result. As Shelley mentioned, its a case of layering it until your happy with it. The setting powder only takes a few minutes to dry and you're done! Bet you've never met a boy who knows so much about makeup lol I'd definitely recommend finding your local camouflage makeup service and seeing whats on offer. I'm still in two minds about how I feel "covering up" but it's always productive to explore all the options available to us.

Hope this helped, any questions please just ask ;)

#18 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 02:03 PM

Nickisboi, what category is your makeup, for example, is it marketed as corrective cosmetics, stage makeup, a regular makeup heavily applied, or what? It sounds like stage makeup since it stays on nearly forever. In other words, what channels do people need to go through in order to obtain it?

Although we can't do brand names on the forums, people may always send you a PM to ask for the specific brand name. What I'm after is the general category, or type, of makeup that you are using.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#19 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

The only other man I know with scleroderma has telangiectasia all over his face and last time I saw him he had used make up to cover it up, the give away for him was lack of full cover, some areas of au natural peaked through and the shade was not quite right BUT the coverage was amazing. All it needs is some tweaking.

Take care.
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#20 nickisboi25

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 04:19 PM

Hi Shelley,

Its classed as camouflage makeup but made by a company that makes all types of "professional" makeup, so basically as you said the kind of makeup used for stage/films. That could be the reason it stays on so well if they've essentially used the same methods as their mainline professional makeup.

I obtained mine through a doctor's referral to an organization that does, amongst other things, camouflage makeup consultations (I don't know if I'm allowed to mention the organization's name?). I'm more than happy to provide the names of the brand used to anyone who sends me a PM.





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