A young woman with keloid scarring is showing off her unique marks with a body-positive message.
Bianca Lawrence, 24, from Bradford, England, posed for London-based photographer Sophie Mayanne as a part of the snapper’s #behindthescars series, and the striking images have since gone viral.
She playfully looks over her shoulder at the camera, her braids flying about her shoulders, showing off a number of scars scattered across her back and lining the edge of her jaw.
Got the look: A 24-year-old Brit named Bianca shows off her keloid scars in a new photo series aimed at promoting body positivity
Brit beauty: The young woman revealed that the keloids formed after tablets prescribed for acne turned the spots into scars
Another photo shows the stunning young woman in profile, flicking her hair into the air and giving the camera a clearer view of the scars around the edge of her face.
In the caption for the photo, Bianca is quoted as saying: ‘My keloid scars developed after I had severe acne on my face, back and chest. I was prescribed tablets to clear the acne but unfortunately they turned some acne spots into keloids.’
She goes on to recount how she has had multiple injections since the age of 13 to reduce the scarring, but is now undergoing surgery.
Keloids are made up of tough, heaped-up scar tissue that rises quite abruptly above the rest of the skin. They form when scar tissue grows excessively instead of healing.
Head up: Keloids are masses of tissue that form when scars grow instead of heal, they are often painful and difficult to treat
Working on it: Bianca has had injections and undergone surgery in an effort to reduce the appearance of the scars
Head up: Bianca claims that she has been the frequent target of ‘nasty comments’
Treatments are often not effective as the tissue has a tendency to grow back after being removed.
WHAT ARE KELOIDS?
Keloids are smooth, hard, benign growths that form when scar tissue grows excessively instead of healing.
Risk factors include being of African, Asian, or Latino heritage, being pregnant, and being younger than 30 years old.
Treatments for keloid scarring are not always effective because of the toughness of the skin.
Source : Healthline
‘Keloids itch and burn and cause pain on a daily basis. They’ve stopped me from living my life, wearing certain clothing and caused anxiety and depression,’ said Bianca.
‘Sometimes people don’t realize how scars/skin condition can ruin an individuals mental health.’
Bianca revealed that she has received ‘nasty comments’ about her looks, but claims that the cruel taunts have simply made her realize that ‘life’s too short to care what people think.’
‘I am starting to try love my skin and to believe I am unique,’ she said. ‘This is the beginning of my journey to become free from negativity and to regain a positive mind set.’
On her own account, Bianca regularly shares photos showcasing her keloid scars, including the ones on her back and chest. In the captions, she expresses hope that her openness about them will help others dealing with the same or similar issues.
Forging ahead: Despite the hurt caused by online bullying, Bianca insists that ‘life’s too short to care what people think’
Putting it out there: Bianca hopes that being open about her scars will help others who also suffer from keloids
‘Years ago I got told I was ugly and shouldn’t exist because I have a skin condition. Now I’m trying to embrace my skin condition. Because I show them on social media doesn’t mean I am confident in everyday life,’ she writes in one selfie caption. ‘Confidence comes from within and I believe posting images may be my stepping stone.’
Sophie Mayanne’s Behind the Scars campaign began back in April 2017, aiming to celebrate ‘scars of all shapes and sizes, and the incredible stories behind them.’
The campaign already features more than 300 scar portraits and stories, encouraging others to come forward with messages of self-acceptance. Sophie hopes to eventually capture 1,000 different scar stories – from accidents to surgical scars.
In addition to the empowering portraits, the campaign also includes moving stories that ‘capture each sitters unique, raw and emotionally fraught experiences,’ with the creator adding that ‘each photo is an act of defiance, self love, worth and positivity.’