Eczema sufferer Dina Chouhan was so impressed and moved by the Red Cross’ skin camouflage service that, having received treatment for the first time, she decided to become a volunteer.
Dina (31) from Solihull was diagnosed with eczema when she was just three years old. Throughout school and up to her early twenties, she suffered badly with the condition and had very sore skin all over.
She recalled: “I was prescribed with various steroid creams to reduce the itching and soreness, which I used for years. One side effect of these creams is thinning of the skin – and the condition itself left me with hyper-pigmented skin. I’m much better now and only have the odd breakout, but sadly I’ve been left with an uneven skin tone on both my arms and upper back.”
“Up until last year, my marks were really affecting my self confidence and I couldn’t remember the last time I had worn short sleeves or a low backed top. I was so fed up that I asked my GP for a referral to see a dermatologist.”
However, the doctor instead referred Dina to the Red Cross for a skin camouflage consultation – it was to be a life-changing decision.
She said: “On the day of my appointment I remember walking into the British Red Cross building in Birmingham. I was early so just sat and observed what was going on around me, and remember thinking to myself how passionate and enthusiastic the volunteers were.
“Suzie, my volunteer, was wonderful and I couldn’t believe the difference between one arm and the other once she had finished applying the camouflage. Seeing the results instantly helped with my self-confidence.”
Inspired to volunteer
Indeed, Suzie’s passion for her role and obvious satisfaction about turning her client’s life around made an immediate impression. Dina recalled: “I knew from that moment I wanted to volunteer and help others in the same way Suzie had helped me.”
Dina signed up as a volunteer and, within weeks, had completed her skin camouflage training and started to run her own clinics. She said: “With any luck I’ll master the art quickly and start making a difference to other people’s lives, just as Suzie did for me.
“I would definitely recommend the skin camouflage service to others living with eczema. I’ve found a renewed sense of confidence and am so grateful the Red Cross was there to help. These days you can’t get me out of short sleeve tops!”
More about the skin camouflage service