This month's guest blogger is from Rekha Patel who works for the fantastic organisation, Changing Faces. She's taken the time to write a bit about the services that Changing Faces can offer for some people with lupus;
Changing Faces is a national charity that supports and represents people living with conditions, marks or scars that affect appearance. Having any kind of visible difference, big or small, can leave you feeling upset, anxious, embarrassed or unconfident. Many people live and cope with their condition well but others can find it difficult.
Often managing people’s reactions, comments and questions to your appearance can feel like an additional daily battle. This is where Changing Faces can help.
By talking to a Changing Faces Practitioner, we can help you build your confidence about your appearance and also help to manage those everyday interactions. Our service is completely free and confidential. If you live in London or Sheffield, you can speak to a practitioner face-to-face, otherwise support and advice is also available on the phone. Our practitioners can also support children, young adults and their families.
We also run a Skin Camouflage Service (previously run by the British Red Cross) which is used by many people with lupus. It’s just one of the many tools you can use to help build your confidence. Again it’s a free service and will involve a consultation with trained skin camouflage practitioner who will teach you how to apply special camouflage creams during an hour long consultation. The creams are available on prescription. Appointments are available across the UK and will require you to be referred by your GP or a health professional. However, to keep the skin camouflage service free we are reliant on donations, so if you think you can help in anyway, please let us know.
It’s important you feel confident about your appearance and the everyday social interactions. Alison, who is a supporter of Changing Faces says: “Learning to be comfortable with your appearance is the first step. Once I accepted that my disfigurement was never going to change I was free to concentrate on the things over which I did have control – my personality, my sense of humour, my clothes and being a kind person.”
To find out more about Changing Faces, please visit changingfaces.org.uk
If you would like to speak to someone for support and advice please contact 0300 0120 275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information on the Skin Camouflage Service can also be found on the website.