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Old 08-11-2013, 05:48 AM
acetra acetra is offline
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Hello, everyone. I am a 62 year-old female with a Nevus of Ota under my right eye. It looks exactly like a black eye. It is greenish blue in color and it extends to my check where it begins to look like blue freckles. I have been teased, asked some probing and absurd questions, and I've even been told that my mascara was running! That's funny now, but when I was younger that was very painful and annoying. My ex-husband was even accused of trying to cover up his spousal abuse by his Army Commanding Officer. One day I thought I could quickly drop-off some lunch to my husband through the back door of his office without anyone seeing me without make-up. Instead, I bumped right into his CO who looked directly into my face as he was leaving for lunch. When the CO returned, he called my husband into his office and asked him if he was having any marital problems. The CO told my husband that he couldn't help but notice that I had a black eye when he saw me earlier. My husband began to laugh, and his CO immediately barked, "I'll slap you with an Article 15 right now! I will NOT tolerate any of my soldiers abusing their wives!" After my husband explained my birthmark, the CO insisted that I come to his office, that afternoon, so he could see for himself that my Nevus of Ota was not actually a black eye! There are so many more stories I could tell! This birthmark has actually provided me with a life full of laughs!

My father was bi-racial: black mother, white father. My mother was black; however, her maternal grandfather and great-grandfather were bi-racial: black mothers, white fathers; and, her paternal great-grandfather was a native African. I am not aware of any Asian ancestry, although I've been told the Nevus of Ota is also prevalent among Africans and African-Americans. I don't know of any other person in my family with a birthmark like this. I have no idea if the Nevus Of Ota is hereditary. I do know that color-blindness is, and it is very prevalent in my family. My father was color-blind and my oldest son is, too. Three of my sisters have sons who are color-blind. But none has a Nevus of Ota. (I mention this only because I see here that the Nevus of Ota may have had some effect on the color of some of your eyes and I wondered if the color-blindness gene could have also.) I was terribly afraid that one of my children, or even one of my grandchildren, would have this type of birthmark. Fortunately, none of them does.

My Nevus of Ota was not visible at birth. As a matter of fact, it did not become visible until I was about 10 or 11 years old, and then only slightly. However, by high school it had become quite dark. I began trying to cover it with make-up in my junior year of high school. By 20, I was using a mixture of powder and liquid make-up layers to cover it, but that did not do a very good job. In my late 20's, I stumbled across an article in Glamour magazine about birthmarks and how to cover them. That is when I discovered Lydia O'Leary products. It was heavy, difficult to work with, make-up for birthmarks and other skin discolorations. But for the time, it was a godsend. However, I had to mix-n-match from a small selection of colors, and once it was applied, it did not look very natural. A few years later I discovered Dermablend, which I have been using for approximately 30 years. Dermablend has a very nice selection of colors to match every skin tone, and it offers different types of accompanying products. It has excellent coverage and is very easy to work with and apply. Most people do not even know that I have a birthmark, unless they have seen me on that rare occasion when I have been out and about without make-up. After nearly 50 years of covering my Nevus of Ota, I have become an expert make-up artist. But, I HATE wearing make-up! I, too, wish I could just get up in the mornings and shower, dress, and go. Unfortunately, it takes about 15 minutes (or more) of every morning to apply my make-up. What a ball and chain! But, I have learned to accept what I cannot change. I have also had the option to go without make-up, and I made the decision not to.

For you young ladies, I want to encourage you with the knowledge that my Nevus of Ota has NEVER been an obstacle to attracting men. And not one of them was ever repulsed by my Nevus of Ota when I became comfortable enough to let them see it. So, do NOT be self-conscious about your birthmark. You are beautiful in the eyes of those who love you! Accept that truth and accept yourself! I have chosen to cover my Nevus of Ota, some other women don't. Just remember that whatever your decision, you must love and accept yourself, and know that beauty really is only skin deep. If you are spotless on the outside but corrupt inside, your beauty does you no justice. Be proud of how God made you, and be the best person you can be from the inside out!

I tried laser treatment about 30 years ago. It did not work. Although lasers have improved drastically, I have chosen not to pursue them. It just is not worth it to me now. I have had a wonderfully blessed life, even with my Nevus of Ota. I eventually realized that my birthmark had no real negative impact on my life! I learned how to use make-up (although I truly do hate the make-up process) to look "normal," and I realized that lasers probably would only add another dimension of frustration to my life that I did not need.

I have only wanted to share my story with you so you would know that life is good, even with a Nevus of Ota, and that "looks" are just vanity. What you will eventually realize is that love, family, and friends are all that really matter. Spend your time and money on those things and don't worry so much about how you look. We'll all get old and ugly one day! LOL!!
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