Kids who wore makeup to camouflage disfiguring skin conditions were teased less and were happier overall, according to research from a recent study performed in Montreal, Canada. Pediatric dermatologists were not surprised to hear the news but the results may help parents to help their kids.
Dr. Michele Ramien was the lead researcher of the University of Montreal study that surveyed 35 girls and three boys ages 5-18 who had vitiligo, birthmarks and other skin irregularities.
Ramien told Reuters that they wanted to have more boys but they found it hard to recruit more, as boys seem to shy away from using makeup.
Each participant received an hour-long training session by an experienced cosmetologist and a six-month supply of foundation that matched their skin tone.
The children were surveyed with questions such as, "Over the last week, how embarrassed or self-conscious, upset or sad have you been because of your skin?"
And, “How much trouble have you had because of your skin with other people calling you names, teasing, bullying, asking questions or avoiding you?"
Their answers were scored before they began the program using the Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI). The index ranks quality of life on a scale of 30 to 0, with the higher numbers equaling a worse quality of life.
When the kids began, their average scores were 5.1 and when their answers were scored again six months later it had dropped to 2.1, indicating a significant improvement in their perceived quality of life.
Ramien reported that the verbal feedback from the patients was even more enthusiastic towards the use of camouflage makeup.
Photographs were taken before and after use of the makeup and the results were notable.
"It really is a huge difference. Your eyes can focus on her eyes, rather than on the skin anomaly," Ramien said. “Wearing cosmetic camouflage helps keep the bullies and the commentators at bay.”
Previous research has shown that skin conditions can cause emotional and psychological stress, the authors stated.
Dr. Nanette Silverberg, a pediatric dermatologist at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York runs a support group for vitiligo patients.
"While a lot of people would like to say these conditions are cosmetic, they are disfiguring, and not all children can get accustomed to having a birthmark on the face," she told Reuters. "The cosmetic camouflage can help."
One problem is that American health insurance does not pay for cosmetic camouflage, though Silverberg thinks that for some kids it serves the same purpose as medicine.
The Canadian study was published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology on Sept. 13, 2014.
Click here for my next article where I discuss how to use camouflage makeup and where to buy it.
Ramien, Michele L. MD et al. Quality of life in pediatric patients before and after cosmetic camouflage of visible skin conditions. Division of Pediatric Dermatology, Department of Pediatrics, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Division of Pediatric Rheumatology (Dermatology), Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Accepted 20 July 2014, Available online 10 September 2014. Abstract:
Makeup can improve life for children with skin diseases BY RONNIE COHEN. Reuters. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/499625/michele_blacksberg.html
Edited by Jody Smith