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katiek 01-16-2013 01:16 PM

Embrace your birthmark
Hi, my name is Katie, I'm 18. I have a very large port wine stain (the largest the hospital staff had ever seen when I was born!) which covers my left arm, shoulder, half of my chest, half of my back and the palm of my hand. I had my first round of laser treatment when I was 6 weeks old and the last when I was 10 years old. I haven't had anymore treatment as I found it very painful and it didn't improve the colour of the stain that greatly.
I have had some horrible things said to me about it, such as 'what's that disgusting thing on your arm?' and people just blatantly staring at it.
I have had others who think it's a burn or a horrific injury or worse, something contagious!
When I tell them it's a birthmark, they tend to be genuinely interested and want to know more, so I tell them about it, then they know next time they see someone with a birthmark and they don't stare. It's people staring that really annoys me.
There have been some comments though that I will never forget, such as, when my friend and I were about 4, she came into school one day and said 'My Mummy won't let me have a tattoo like yours!' - she was so annoyed that she couldn't have a purple arm! We both laugh about it now.
The other time was a couple of months ago when I was talking about having more laser treatment to a friend and he turned round and said, 'Why do you want to get rid of it? It makes you special and different from everyone else' -and I thought he's right, birthmarks are special, they do define who we are, they make us different to everyone else.
I'm lucky in the way that all my friends don't notice it and if anyone asks them, they tell them. I'm happy to show mine off, I wear bikini's on the beach, strappy low cut tops and backless sleeveless dresses.
Don't let your birthmark get in your way- let children draw around it (best babysitting technique, they are quiet because they have to concentrate!), embrace your birthmark, forget that it is there -I do!!

Just remember we are different and special! No birthmark is the same, we are individuals, no one can be the same as us!

I hope this helps everyone who has a birthmark!

Katie x

kelmel 01-18-2013 04:55 AM

Thank you. I'm sure your post will help others with birthmarks and parents who are hoping to raise kids with a positive outlook, like yours.

hamilton432283 03-20-2013 10:39 PM

You are lucky to be so young and think like that. You must have had wonderful parents that supported you. =)

brand33 03-21-2013 10:28 AM

Thank you.I am sure your post will help others with birthmarks and parents who are hoping to raise kids with a positive outlook, like yours.

sweetpea 05-01-2013 06:41 PM

Katie, i'm twice your age but sounds like we have the exact same mark. "in my day" the laser treatments were horribly slow (especially for such a large area), and i never had treatment.

i totally agree about the staring being the worst part of it, but it sounds like good with where you are, as are your friends and family, so you're through the most awkward phase.

best to you.

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