A woman has hit out at the National Health Service after being refused treatment for unsighly keloid scars which cover half of her body – because they are considered to be cosmetic.
Bianca Lawrence, 22, developed the keloid scars when she was a teenager, and they now cover most of the upper half of her body. However, even though she says her life and her confidence are blighted by the scars, she has been refused NHS treatment because her condition is considered to be “cosmetic”.
Now, she and her family are trying to raise enough money to pay for £350 per session laser treatment. Bianca, who works as a spa therapist, said that as her childhood acne vanished, the keloid scars appeared.
The condition is painfully itchy and Bianca says that she is so traumatised by people staring and commenting, that she wears jumpers, even in the summer, and hides scars on her face with her hair. Keloids are more common in people who have dark skin, and Bianca is mixed race, with an English mother and Jamaican father.
Bianca, from West Yorkshire, said that she is constantly self conscious and lives in fear of what people might say about her scars. The unviversity graduate does what she can to hide the scars with make up and the clothes she wears, but says they have led to her suffering from depression and anxiety.
She said that the decision by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had made her angry because “you hear about women getting boob jobs on the NHS and I can’t have treatemnt for my scars.”
However, a spokesperson for the CCG said that every patient had a right to a wide range of treatments within the NHS, but there were some which were not routinely funded. They said that funding might not be provided if a patient’s reasons for needing the treatment were not felt to be exceptional.