Derma Matrimony- A ray of hope for people with Vitiligo
By- Manasa Gowda, INN/Banglore, @Infodeaofficial
Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go), a disease that causes loss of skin colour in irregular patches is not only be stressful or makes one feel conscious of their complexion but affects the social life of an individual.
Though the extent and rate of colour loss from vitiligo is unpredictable, but the skin on any part of the body is affected. It may also affect hair and the inside of the mouth. Treatment for the skin disorder may restore colour to the affected skin, but it does not prevent continued loss of skin colour or a recurrence.
Normally, the colour of hair and skin is determined by melanin, however, if the cells that produce melanin die or stop functioning, it can lead to vitiligo. Vitiligo affects people of all skin types, but it may be more noticeable in people with darker skin.
June 25th is marked as World Vitiligo Day, and for people suffering from vitiligo and other skin diseases, there is something to heave a sigh of relief. Derma Matrimony, a matrimonial site exclusively for people with vitiligo and other skin diseases founded Ashish Agarwal has helped people find their soul mate without causing them mental trauma that they usually suffer due to skin diseases when looking for a partner.
Here is an excerpt of the interview with the founder Ashish Agarwal.
What was the idea behind starting Derma matrimony?
“Since 2005, I am dealing with psoriasis, an auto-immune skin disorder that affects the physical appearance when aggravated. In 2014, I embraced my skin issue, learnt my way of controlling the symptoms, and then started a blog- Psoriasis self- Management to share and discuss my experiences and psoriasis management ideas along with people with psoriasis.
It was the beginning of a completely new phase in my life and now, it has been more than 4 years and the journey goes on. After interacting with hundreds of people dealing with psoriasis, vitiligo and other skin issues, I realized that a matrimony platform such as DermaMatrimony.com is the need of the hour. There are a lot of misconceptions prevalent in the society about skin issues and people hesitate to marry someone with a skin issue fearing serious post-marriage consequences.
We might be fit- physically as well as mentally capable of fulfilling all our personal and professional responsibilities. But, when it comes to marriage, our skin condition overpowers all our good qualities and makes us somewhat different from others.
Only then, I decided to come up with an online matrimonial platform dedicated to people with skin issues. With DermaMatrimony.com, we aim to help create a world where every individual dealing with any skin condition would find a suitable match in a dignified and pleasant manner without making unwanted compromises.
We believe that couples with similar life struggles would understand each other better and feel extremely comfortable in their skin for the whole life without any fear of judgment or the feeling of insecurity. It would help them get over the ‘skin’ thing and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life by focusing on all the important life goals. The respective in-laws would also be more co-operative and helpful.
How did Derma Matrimony come to an existence? What was the motivation behind starting a matrimony particularly?
Around 3-4% of the world’s population is dealing with chronic skin issues and majority of them struggle to get married. Surrendering to frequent rejections and delay in marriage, people with skin issues make several compromises in terms of educational qualification, financial status or other important traits of their partners and settle for less. For some unlucky ones, they remain unmarried forever!
Even after marriage, the anticipatory fears like- ‘Will my spouse leave me if my skin condition increases with time? ‘How my spouse and in-laws will react then?’- troubles the person for many years. In India, there are documented incidences where vitiligo was the ground for divorce. This constant stress and anxiety can severely affect the overall health and quality of life. Even in our website, there are a few divorced members who have clearly mentioned that they got divorced due to their skin condition only.
DermaMatrimony.com is committed to change this scenario for good, by providing a safe, authentic and easy to use online matchmaking platform for people with skin issues.
The ‘Team DermaMatrimony.com’ aims to bring the prospective brides and grooms from across the world, dealing with various skin issues, on a common matrimony platform so that they can search, interact and choose their soulmates.
We are quite confident that this initiative- DermaMatrimony.com- would bring happiness and positive changes in the lives of many potential brides and grooms, dealing with skin issues, and their families.
Does the website offer services for people suffering only with Vitiligo or is it also for people suffering from other skin diseases. Who can be a member at the matrimony?
DermaMatrimony.com is for people with various chronic skin conditions that include:
- Vitiligo (Leucoderma)
And other skin diseases can also find their soul mates here
How many members have registered in this matrimonial site till date?
“The website got Live in the first week of March 2018 and currently, we have more than 1,150 registered members on our platform. We are getting around 10-12 new registrations every day on our website”.
Is the matrimonial site a free one or a paid one?
“This website is free to register and use, as of now. But, now, we are planning to start some nominal membership fee to cover the running cost of the website and arrange for promotions and advertisements so that we can reach the people who really needs it”.
What is the future plans with the site?
“My biggest challenge is to streamline this project and ensure best possible user experience to all the members. By next 3 months, we aim to further optimize our website and then we may opt for android and iOS app development, subject to the availability of funds. As our website working quite good in mobile, tablet and desktop; so, we are not too desperate to launch app version. Currently, we have one customer support executive and we aim to increase it to three team members, subject to availability of funds. Larger the team, better to give individual attention to the members.
By the end of this year, we aim to have at least 25 to 30 marriages from our platform, which is quite a realistic target considering the fact that the average age of female members on our platform is 28 years and 32 years for male members. It shows that the people here are serious about marriage and if we can provide them a decent platform with excellent customer support, then definitely we can have 30 successful stories easily”.