“A few people have been asking me about my skin on Survivor, and if you have been watching you may have noticed that it’s going through somewhat of a transformation,” she wrote.
“Well it turns out that whilst playing I had a flare up of an autoimmune condition called Vitiligo that I didn’t know I had. I was made aware of it but I decided to push through and not stress about it until I came home because… Survivor!”
According to the Vitiligo Association of Australia, Vitiligo affects between 1 to 2 per cent of the population and is characterised by patches of skin that turn white or pale over time. It is usually associated with other AI conditions, such as thyroid disease and diabetes.
“Most people with vitiligo are in good health and have no symptoms other than areas of pigment loss,” they write on their website.
Still, the Looking For Alibrandi star admitted it was “confronting” to know that her skin was changing while being filmed sans makeup.
“Since seeing a specialist I’ve been told that it’s a condition that needs lifelong management, but I’m having some amazing treatment and it’s working really well so I’m feeling very lucky,” she explained. “It’s not ideal that it happened in real time on TV, as it was pretty confronting knowing I was being filmed, but I think what initially felt like a negative, can be a positive.”
Pia added that the issue wasn’t going to stop her from “playing hard,” “having fun” and enjoying her reality TV journey.
“So for anyone who might be suffering from Vitiligo or any other condition that makes you feel like you look less than perfect, I hope that watching me out there kicking butt on Survivor (and also getting my butt kicked ????) without a stitch of makeup on, lifts your spirits,” she said. “I’m thinking there are enough perfect looking people on TV, so I’m happy to offer an alternative and be someone who is perfectly fine with being imperfect.”
Hear hear, Pia. Thanks for keeping it real.