If you want to try wearing socks, go to REI--they have socks that will wick away moisture from your feet.
I am not suggesting this as a way to hide your condition, just that it might help it if you are wearing shoes at all.
My husband had flare ups of this condition for years--I am not sure why he doesn't have them as often now. He has always used steroidal creams and he likes to eat spicy foods that might have natural anti-inflammatories in them.
THe big problem is that I love the beach and while he will come TO the beach, he cannot set foot ON the beach or in the water--it will start an outbreak.
Do you find it ironic that at an animal shelter, it was the humans that displayed the worst of pack behavior?
They should be ashamed...
The beach is a total no-go for me as well, just the thought makes my feet itch, ha. My skin goes through phases where it's tolerable and phases where it's really bad, but I think stress is a major factor in that. Like I said, the last time it was painful was a few weeks before my wedding earlier this year. The skin on the bottoms of my feet was just peeling like crazy and then blisters popped out of the places where the skin was missing.
As far as the missing pigment goes, there isn't a whole lot I can do about that. There are some parts on my legs where it looks 'streaky', like mud dribbling down my legs, but anyone can tell up close that it's a skin disorder and not filth...well anyone that wasn't an ignorant moron.
You're right ..I never expected that treatment to come from an animal shelter. I do expect it from the general public though. I just remembered...months ago there was a cat who had a really bad skin condition. She had sores on her body and hardly any hair..and everyone loved her..and she got adopted after only 3 weeks there.
It makes you wonder about people who can have empathy for critters and then none for their fellow volunteers--particularly when aside from how it might look, this condition is horrible to endure for the person who has it.
I have heard that cayenne pepper can help--obviously staying out of stressful situations (ha!) and I think docs try to come up with new treatments. But, seeing my DH go through it, I know how horrible it can be.
He also takes BP meds now, so I don't know if that helps keep it at bay--it does make it so that he can't be out in the sun either.
So, I go out there and sit in the waves--alone--sigh. For me, its a natural habitat--I could live in seawater, my contact lenses stay nice and moist--I love it!
I don't know what I would do if I couldn't be in it. We are going to see if lake water is a little better.
But, he used to wear cotton gloves with medication on his hands. And the socks I was recommending are good for anyone who doesn't like that wet foot feeling in their shoes. I think the brand is Thorlio's or something like that. They wick the moisture away--great for skiing, hiking--it lets the skin breathe.
I hope you can overcome this--not only the disease but the way people treat you. The woman who started this sounds like a troublemaker more than just ignorant. Although some people who are of an older generation were taught things as children about things skin conditions and that may be where her bias comes from.
I think you should explain it to her and explain the hurt it caused you. Or someone else should. If the director talks to her and makes you out of bounds, she might just find someone else to pick on. And given the dire straights of these poor animals, the focus should be on them and not on creating drama.
But, I guess there is always drama wherever humans are present. I'll the kitties don't give a hoot what your skin looks like--they are just happy for some love!
I was at our shelter here a few days ago. I got kind of caught up in the whirlwind of saving a particular older dog. He is coming home with me next Tuesday after he his "surgery." And then I have to have him treated for HW! Joy!
But, he is as old as my dog and I think they will be good friends. This dog that I am taking home has a permanent black scar all the way across his face where someone put a wire around his snout to keep the muzzle on him. It's a deep, black scar. But, I think they were just ignorant and loved him otherwise because he has a good disposition.
I am just going to tell people that he used to be in a motorcycle gang!
Good luck! Maybe if this woman can learn some compassion for people who suffer from this, it will save the next sufferer from suffering from her insufferability!