Skin camouflage really is about drawing

Skin camouflage really is about drawing
the eye away from a disfiguring mark

through the use of a cover cream.

I didn't have scars
until I was about 16 years old.

So I tended to sort of cover up then,

whereas my friends were out and about
and I'd be sweating under jumpers

because the skin camouflage
wasn't available at that point,

not that I was aware of.

It can be a loss of pigmentation
in the skin, vitiligo.

It can be too much, hyperpigmentation,
too much pigmentation.

It can be scarring.

Really, it's not important to us
what people come with.

Our role is solely to help somebody

cover whatever it is
that's bothering them.

It was an issue for myself
and how I saw myself.

So even if I was walking around
the house, I'd still wear a jumper,

just so that I didn't have to see it,

but even more so
when I was out and about in public.

(Sheila) When somebody comes to the
clinic we discuss what camouflage is,

what kind of cover it can give,

we tell them that it is available
on NHS prescription

at the discretion of their GP.

The second step is the skin matching

and that's where we're looking to
find the best cover

for their natural skin tone.

Once we agree
that that's a good colour for them,

that's then set with a fixing powder

and the fixing powder
helps the camouflage cream

to be waterproof and showerproof.

People can swim with it on
and they can shower with it on

so it can stay on the body
for up to three to four days.

(Dina) In the second half
of my consultation

she made me apply the creams,

taught me the techniques,

so that I walked out of there
being able to do it

and then I've been using them
ever since.

If people wish to access
the Red Cross Skin Camouflage Service

they can either go to their GP
or their consultant dermatologist

who can provide a referral,

though we do accept self-referrals
as well from people.

I think I might have actually cried
when I walked out of that room

because I was so...

Because I've had doctors and consultants

and all sorts of medical people
try and treat my skin.

I've had private medicines
and nothing's worked.

So, to be honest, I walked in there
with quite realistic expectations.

The fact that I came out just completely
chuffed was just mind-blowing

and it was just quite
an emotional moment actually.

Skin camouflage
offers a coping mechanism.

It's just another tool in the box.

Some people may want
to use it every day.

Others may want to just use it
for a special occasion.

So we're not saying,

"Come to our clinics and you must
use this camouflage." It's a choice.

It's giving somebody another choice.

(Dina)
My confidence is certainly improved

because I can see
that I can do something about it.

I would certainly recommend
the skin camouflage system

for both men and women.

It can make such a difference.