Could skin camouflage help you? We talk to the Irish Red Cross

Skin camouflage is the application of specialised cover creams to improve the appearance of scarring, tattoos and some disfiguring skin conditions.

The Irish Red Cross run a voluntary skin camouflage service and recently invited the Irish Skin Foundation to attend their annual skills workshop for their skin camouflage practitioners.

Caroline Irwin from the ISF, who is an advocate for people with psoriasis (and suffers from psoriasis herself), spoke to the volunteers about her perspective of living with a visible skin disorder.

“While there’s absolutely no reason why anyone should ever feel they have to hide their skin – whether it’s a scar, a bad flare-up of psoriasis just before an important occasion, a birthmark or vitiligo – there can be times when dealing with other people’s bad attitudes to your skin can be a burden you just don’t want to deal with”.

“This is why these type of specially-formulated products can be really good when it comes to offering someone, who is feeling self-conscious, an opportunity to forget about their skin and get on with their plans”, she explained.

Carmel Blake, Dermatology Advanced Nurse Practitioner, also spoke about some common of the more common conditions for which specialised cosmetic camouflage can be suitable.

So how can skin camouflage cream help you?
Camouflage can make a significant difference to the appearance of skin blemishes if you are conscious about your appearance.

“It can be life-changing for some people with significant marks and scars, and really boost people’s self confidence”, says Carmel. “When correctly applied, camouflage creams are waterproof and may be safely left on the body for 2-3 days, and for 12-18 hours on the face. These creams are appropriate for men, women and children. They can be used on any part of the body.”

Skin camouflage can disguise conditions such as: 
Vitiligo, rosacea, lupus, birthmarks, thread veins, leg veins, scars, burns, tattoos, hyperpigmentation and many other dermatological conditions.

The Irish Red Cross Skin Camouflage service
The service is by appointment, and the trained volunteers select the best colour match for the individual’s natural skin tone. People attending are taught how to apply the cream, and how to make it long lasting and waterproof. The volunteers also assist the individual to source the cream at the best price.

The service is completely free of charge, but the Irish Red Cross is grateful for any donations to support the service.

A referral from a doctor or nurse is necessary to access the service for skin conditions, but a referral letter is not required for camouflaging of a tattoo.

To avail of the Irish Red Cross Skin Camouflage service please contact the team on (01) 6424600 or email to find out where your nearest Skin Camouflage Clinic is and when you will be able to make an appointment.