Carole Kazonis hasn't wanted to see her reflection for ten years.
Sam Timmons' vitiligo suffers from the same condition which has prevented her from attending social outings for fear of being gawked at.
“For me it's the strangers that come up and they look at it and say oh, what's that? and they don't want to touch you because they’re scared they'll catch it,” says Sam.
But thanks to an Australian breakthrough invention, Carole's and Sam’s incurable skin disorder vitiligo, has now been hidden.
It's called microskin, an Australian invention giving confidence back to thousands of people with skin disorders, birthmarks and even burns scarring.
Former Brisbane makeup artist Linda Lowndes is the woman behind the spray on product and has already treated more than 3000 patients in four years.
Until today microskin was only available in Brisbane but now Adelaide Plastic Surgery Associates has set up a clinic.
“Microskin is a simulated flexible skin that I've built over seven years. It's a liquidised skin that we spray onto the top layer of the epidermal layer of the skin and it locks onto the skin for up to several days. It’s waterproof, flexible and lasts for days,” explains Linda.
It's impervious to the sun, doesn't rub off or mark clothing but comes off just as dead skin does and it lasts from one to five days.
“How it's different from makeup or spray on tan is I think spray on tan you're actually pigmenting the skin you're trying to stain the skin and make it darker, make-up masks, it's a thick layer, men can't use it children can't use it.”
“The reaction is freedom, the feeling of no one is staring at them any more they can just walk in the crowd and blend in rather than be the centre of attention.”
That's how microskin helped India Gale who suffered burns to forty per cent of her body after being caught in a house fire at the age of three.
“My hope is it will make people see me as a normal person rather than someone who looks different,” says India.
And that's why her family made the hike from England to Brisbane for the treatment. Mum Katie wanted to heal India's scars, not so much those on her body, but the scars in her mind.
“To camouflage your injury to put you on a level playing field with all the other people out there, it's almost a basic human right,” says Katie…. they weren't disappointed.
Yesterday a hospital in Wales in the UK agreed to distribute microskin to help heal scarred patients.
Linda says while most patients are taught how to administer it at home, her aim is to get the same recognition from Australian hospitals.
“Because if we can change the psychological mind of the patients it cuts down so much depression… they can get employed, I've seen a lot of people go back to work. Microskin is certainly not going to remove their condition but is certainly something that can help give them back a bit of a normal life.”
Adelaide Plastic Surgery Associates
Level 4/18 North Terrace, Adelaide