Girl with vitiligo turns her skin condition into art

A teenager with vitiligo has turned her skin condition into beautiful works of art by using the discolored patches on her body in whimsical designs.

Kartiki Bhatnagar, of New Dehli, India, was diagnosed with vitiligo when she was just 7 years old. The disease causes skin to become discolored in various spots on the body, and Kartiki first struggled to understand why her parents were so distraught and why she had to take so many trips to the doctor’s office.

For years, the girl felt insecure, and on her blog explained she felt like an ‘outcast’ and a ‘misfit’. It wasn’t until someone compared one of her marks to the Apple logo that she started to see the disease in a different light.

Creative: Kartiki Bhatnagar (pictured), of New Dehli, India, has turned her vitiligo into beautiful works of art by using the discolored patches on her body in whimsical designs

Creative: Kartiki Bhatnagar (pictured), of New Dehli, India, has turned her vitiligo into beautiful works of art by using the discolored patches on her body in whimsical designs

Creative: Kartiki Bhatnagar (pictured), of New Dehli, India, has turned her vitiligo into beautiful works of art by using the discolored patches on her body in whimsical designs

Condition: The teenager  struggled to accept the disease for years, until someone compared one of her marks (pictured) to the Apple logo

Condition: The teenager  struggled to accept the disease for years, until someone compared one of her marks (pictured) to the Apple logo

Owning it: Kartiki eventually drew the famous logo onto her left foot (pictured)

Owning it: Kartiki eventually drew the famous logo onto her left foot (pictured)

Condition: The teenager struggled to accept the disease for years, until someone compared one of her marks (left) to the Apple logo, which she eventually drew onto her foot (right)

After Kartiki was diagnosed with vitiligo, she saw her mother crying, underwent frequent rituals as attempts to tame the condition, and noticed people giving her strange looks.

‘The same classmates who talked to me animatedly about varied things now refused to even touch me, because they thought what I had was contagious,’ she wrote.

The girl couldn’t understand why people were treating her differently, and at some point even blamed herself.

‘I was unable to fathom whether I was the one who was not friendly enough, whether I made a mistake, whether I ate too many chocolates which is why I have this,’ she added. ‘These “whethers” ravaged my mind so much that there were times where I felt like the loneliest person on Earth.’

Kartiki’s friends eventually resumed normal behavior, but not until the school explained during a special session it was ‘safe’ to be around her.

Art: The teenager then started drawing around her marks (one of which is pictured) and adding colors to them

Art: The teenager then started drawing around her marks (one of which is pictured) and adding colors to them

Shapes: Kartiki made a sweet ghost with a heart out of one of the discolored patches of skin

Shapes: Kartiki made a sweet ghost with a heart out of one of the discolored patches of skin

Art: The teenager then started drawing around her marks, adding colors to turn them into the famous logo, a sweet ghost with a heart (pictured), a version of Planet Earth, or a little snail

Evolving: Ten years after her diagnosis, the girl has completely changed her outlook and has become entirely more accepting of her skin condition

Evolving: Ten years after her diagnosis, the girl has completely changed her outlook and has become entirely more accepting of her skin condition

Evolving: Ten years after her diagnosis, the girl has completely changed her outlook and has become entirely more accepting of her skin condition

Acceptance: after trying many different types of treatment, Kartiki has given up on trying to alleviate the vitiligo. Pictured is one of her marks

Acceptance: after trying many different types of treatment, Kartiki has given up on trying to alleviate the vitiligo. Pictured is one of her marks

Outlook: The girl said she doesn't view her condition as an issue anymore. Pictured is one of her marks turned into a snail

Outlook: The girl said she doesn't view her condition as an issue anymore. Pictured is one of her marks turned into a snail

Acceptance: after trying many different types of treatment, Kartiki has given up on trying to alleviate the vitiligo. Pictured is one of her marks (left) turned into a little snail (right)

Ten years after her diagnosis, the girl has completely changed her outlook and has become entirely more accepting of her skin condition, in big part thanks to a remark from a loved one who expressed enthusiasm for her skin. 

‘Someone I know closely once looked closely at my marks and exclaimed, “Woah! I love the dual skin tone colour you have.” That seriously bewildered me,’ she recounted.

Before she could fully understand the remark, the person went on to say about a mark on Kartiki’s left foot: ‘In fact, that patch actually looks like the Apple logo.’

The attention and comments left Kartiki feeling ‘a bit vulnerable’ at first, but she eventually realized that her patch of skin did, in fact, bear some resemblance to Apple’s fruit.

Tough: 'I was unable to fathom whether I was the one who was not friendly enough, whether I made a mistake,' Kartiki wrote as she recounted her struggles to cope with the illness

Tough: 'I was unable to fathom whether I was the one who was not friendly enough, whether I made a mistake,' Kartiki wrote as she recounted her struggles to cope with the illness

Tough: ‘I was unable to fathom whether I was the one who was not friendly enough, whether I made a mistake,’ Kartiki wrote as she recounted her struggles to cope with the illness

Reaction: After Kartiki was diagnosed with vitiligo, she saw her mother crying, underwent frequent rituals as attempts to tame the condition, and noticed people giving her strange looks

Reaction: After Kartiki was diagnosed with vitiligo, she saw her mother crying, underwent frequent rituals as attempts to tame the condition, and noticed people giving her strange looks

Reaction: After Kartiki was diagnosed with vitiligo, she saw her mother crying, underwent frequent rituals as attempts to tame the condition, and noticed people giving her strange looks

Empowered: Turning her skin condition into a source of beauty has enabled Kartiki to change her outlook

Empowered: Turning her skin condition into a source of beauty has enabled Kartiki to change her outlook

Confident: 'I was very low on self-esteem,' Kartiki said of the impact of the condition. 'But now that so many wonderful things have come out of it, I am very happy with myself'

Confident: 'I was very low on self-esteem,' Kartiki said of the impact of the condition. 'But now that so many wonderful things have come out of it, I am very happy with myself'

Confident: ‘I was very low on self-esteem,’ Kartiki said of the impact of the condition. ‘But now that so many wonderful things have come out of it, I am very happy with myself’

She started drawing around her marks, adding colors to turn them into the famous logo, a sweet ghost with a heart, a version of Planet Earth, or a little snail.

Meanwhile, after trying many different types of treatment, Kartiki has given up on trying to alleviate the vitiligo and doesn’t view it as an issue anymore.

‘After so many medications ranging from allopathic, ayurvedic, homeopathic and what not, I have happily given up the fight of ever getting my color back, which has somehow made me stronger,’ she wrote.

Turning her skin condition into a source of beauty has enabled Kartiki to change her outlook and to feel more confident.

‘I was very low on self-esteem,’ she told BuzzFeed News. ‘But now that so many wonderful things have come out of it, I am very happy with myself, I feel I have gained some self-esteem, so I see them in a very different light.’

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