The Vamps guitarist James Brittain-McVey has been diagnosed with vitiligo.
The 29-year-old musician broke the news to fans in a video posted on Instagram giving a candid account of his battle with the skin condition which causes pigment loss and admitting he’s “gutted”.
He explained: “Hey guys. Bit of a life update. I wasn’t gong to say anything but I figured that trying to avoid from it or hide from it would be like letting it win. So in the last few weeks I have been diagnosed with vitiligo, which I hadn’t heard of before either. But vitiligo is a condition thought to be linked to autoimmune diseases and basically in layman’s terms areas of my skin’s pigment (is changing) … “
James went on to point out he’s not the only famous vitiligo sufferer, telling his fans his condition is the same that affects supermodel Winnie Harlow, adding: “You may have seen Winnie Harlow’s vitiligo before. That really famous model has it.”
He then started pointing out patches of skin on his chin which appear to be a different colour to the rest of his face and admitted he was “gutted” to receive the diagnosis after spending years dealing with acne.
James went on: “You can kind of see it’s starting here (on my chin) and it’s funny that after sort of 18 years of dealing with acne and various different drugs for that I finally get to a place where it was starting to leave me alone, along comes vitiligo.
“Being completely honest is quite a big thing for me I ‘d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit gutted. It’s kind of been quite difficult to come to terms with at you know 29 years old but the rate of spread has been quite rapid on my face. I’ve got it in other areas too. but the last sort of week or too it’s been more obvious so I don’t know how it’s going to progress.”
The guitarist assured his followers the condition is not painful or contagious and is not linked to more serious illnesses like cancer but he wanted to share his news in case fans were baffled by his changing appearance.
James added: “Luckily it doesn’t cause me any pain, it’s not contagious and it’s not linked to cancer. But I wanted to hit it head on at this stage and be transparent ‘cos you there a few things with The Vamps coming up – and I effectively wanted to let people know who think my face is chancing colour, it’s not a dodgy fake tan. It’s vitiligo.”