A First Dates hopeful with keloid scars has revealed how she received phone calls urging her to ‘kill herself’ because of the way she looked.
Bianca Lawrence, 24, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, developed the scars, which are larger and more raised than regular scars, after a bout of acne.
Speaking to the
Remembering their words, she said: ‘You are so ugly. Nobody will ever love you. You need to go and kill yourself. I will keep calling until you do.’
Bianca Lawrence, 24, first developed keloid scars as a teenager following treatment for a bout of acne. She said living with the condition could sometimes be a ‘waking nightmare’
Appearing on Channel 4’s First Dates, Bianca spoke about how the condition had affected her getting emotional as she said that the scarring had held her back
Beauty counter worker Bianca, who appeared on Channel 4’s First Dates earlier this year, admits the scars have left her with crippling self-doubt and body confidence issues.
She continued: ‘It has been a waking nightmare. There have been days – weeks – when I felt too sad and hopeless to get out of bed in the morning.
‘I kept ruminating: “why me? Why I had got this terrible affliction?” Just because something isn’t contagious or cancerous doesn’t mean it can’t ruin your life.’
Bianca developed the scars a year after being prescribed medication to treat severe acne. The raised patches appeared on her upper chest, across her back, the side of her face and her ears – everywhere the acne had been.
She has since undergone a range of treatments to lessen their appearance but nothing has been fully effective.
Despite the hurt caused by horrible comments over the years Bianca boldly made the decision to appear on the Channel 4 show as a way of speaking out about her condition
She explained to her date how the keloid scars appeared. Her body over-produces collagen which means that any knock or injury results in the tissue build-up
During her appearance on First Dates, she was matched with Teza, an entertainer from Liverpool.
Speaking to the camera she said: ‘I got them [the scars] when I was 13, you have to get surgery to remove them or just deal with the growth.
‘When I was younger growing up it was difficult because a lot of people used to say hurtful things. Somebody would stroke my face, point at it and say “ugh that is disgusting”.’
Bianca broke down in tears as she admitted she was often paranoid about her scars and wouldn’t normally wear low-cut clothing that would reveal them and invite any unpleasant remarks.
‘It has stopped me from doing things in life and meeting people, but I don’t want people to know that I get upset about it,’ she said during the episode which first aired back in October.
There was no romance on the cards for Bianca and her match Teza, but the pair have remained friends. Bianca said she finds it difficult to date
Since she was 13 Bianca has had injections and undergone surgery in an effort to reduce the appearance of the scars, but has had to seek private treatment because the NHS no longer offers it
Bianca’s parents are paying for her tp seek treatment from a dermatologist privately.
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.
Bianca has branded the move ‘unfair’ as she said she’s often in physical pain from the scarring and has suffered ‘psychologically from the terrible effects of a condition’.
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.
Treatments are often not effective as the tissue has a tendency to grow back after being removed.
Bianca said previously as part of a campaign to promote body positivity: ‘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.
As part of a campaign by Sophie Mayanne Bianca showed off her keloid scars in a photo series aimed at promoting body positivity
‘Sometimes people don’t realise how scars/skin condition can ruin an individuals mental health.’
On her own Instagram 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.
‘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.’