It is said that ‘Beauty is not just skin deep’, and that ‘Beauty lies in the Eyes of the Beholder’. Both these quotes are true to some extent, so far as persons with no gross facial defect or disfigurement are concerned. However, they offer no concession or consolation to people who are either born with facial defects or deformation, or whose faces become disfigured due to- (1) Disorders of pigmentation like Leucoderma- manifesting as localised hypopigmented patches, viz.Vitiligo, or total hypopigmentaton of the whole body,viz. ‘Albinism ‘. Disorders of pigmentation can also exist in the form of Hyperpigmentation of some parts of the body including the face; (2)Injuries such as acid attacks or vicious slashes on the face with weapons.
Though many of these defects or disfigurements are indeed ‘skin-deep’ in the sense of affecting mainly the skin of the face, some occur as- (3) Deformation of the facial organs or features too. (4) In some instances, some women are afflicted by hairiness of the face and body.
All these facial cosmetic defects,though not necessarily disabling,nevertheless make the afflicted persons’ life miserable and socially limiting due to their effect of lowering the confidence and self esteem of the affected individuals, as also their chances of marriage. Of course, as in the case of many tragedies, physical or circumstantial, there are some heart warming instances of such persons being lucky enough to find partners whose eyes and mind have the depth to appreciate and love their ‘Innate Beauty Beneath The Skin’. There is presently, the example of a girl who is a victim of an acid attack, who found the right man who appreciates and loves her for her courage and beauty of her soul than of her face.Unfortunately, not all afflicted persons are so lucky. It is therefore imperative to devise ways of helping them either by Curative surgical treatment, or Camouflage of the disfiguring patches or parts.
There is remedy for some of the above problems, as for example, (1) Cosmetic or plastic surgery, (a) by grafting of normal skin taken from some other part of the body onto the disfigured part of the face, (b) depilatory treatment of the excessively hairy parts of the face or limbs of the concerned women. (2)Restoration of the pigment is possible in some cases of Vitiligo by using melanin producing drugs, available in the form of psoralen skin ointments to be applied to the depigmented patches, or oral medicines, followed by exposure to sunlight
However, Cosmetic surgery does not help, or is not applicable, in all cases such as Leucoderma or Hyperpigmentation of the skin, which tends to recur. Therefore, other methods like (2) Camouflaging of the discoloured parts of the affected skin can be employed, using Natural coloured, fast holding, slowly fading ‘Skin Dyes’, which act in the same way as Mehndi does on the limbs and hair. (3)Still another cosmetic aid is the provision of ‘Face Masks’, for covering the defective or disfigured parts of the facial skin, which cannot be dyed properly due to roughness or unevenness of the skin, using nonirritant, absorbent and sufficiently stiff textile or fabric, with the normal face of the person, as it used to be (or could have been), painted with fabric paints or printed, on it.
Cosmetic manufacturing companies can take up the above projects to advantage, and achieve the mission of bringing out the men and women with cosmetic problems fro their ‘Well of Loneliness’!