When you are diagnosed with a life-changing illness, your doctor may prepare you for how the disease will affect your physical functions. But as our members point out, patients also need to be prepared for the changes in physical appearance they may experience. For example, how do you deal with hair loss, facial swelling, weight gain, blotchy skin or other unexpected changes? Or get comfortable with the use of new equipment such as leg braces, walkers or wheelchairs that may attract attention? Most importantly, what can you do to still feel beautiful?
Here are some suggestions from members of our PatientsLikeMe Forum, where patients with different conditions come together to discuss universal issues:
- Using attractive scarves or hats to cover thinning hair or bald spots
- Experimenting with different cosmetics to see what works best
- Treating yourself to a spa manicure and pedicure as a pick-me-up
- Trying out different explanations for your new brace/walker/wheelchair when asked to see what feels right and what produces the most acceptable responses
- Soaking in a scented Epsom salt bath to ease pain and relax
- Consulting with a hair stylist about better styles for thinning hair
- Using gentle, non-drying facial cleansers and lotions
- Switching to an electric razor to improve ease and safety
- Donating your hair to Locks of Love to put a feel-good spin on it
Have you discovered other tricks to help you deal with a changing appearance? Join this ongoing discussion in our forum or share your experiences in the comments section.