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  1. ITV Report

'Why having alopecia has made me a stronger person'

Eve Betts, 24, was diagnosed with alopecia when she was two years old.

"My parents said they saw patches all over my body", she told ITV Wales.

But throughout her early childhood, Eve, from Bridgend, said she never felt any different to other children.

"I didn't really notice. I remember one of my earliest memories... going into school and asking my Mum if she could see the patch at the back of my head. I must have been around six."

Eve as a child Credit: Eve Betts

"I think the innocence of being around children at that age really helped... they don't really have a perception of what people should look like, or what's normal. You're either their friend, or you're not!"

As Eve grew older, having the condition became more difficult. She wore wigs, and used makeup, to try to hide the visible symptoms. But some people noticed her condition - and she experienced bullying.

"Kids just used to be really horrible to me", she said.

"But for me, being bullied was one of the best things ever, and you don't see it at the time, you really really don't, it's the worst thing in the world.

"But I feel so much stronger now. And I have a bit of a 'I don't care what you think' attitude!"

Eve decided to stop wearing her wig so regularly a few years ago Credit: Eve Betts

A few years ago, Eve decided to stop wearing her wig so regularly.

"I decided that I'd just have to take my hair off and sort of embrace who I am... and it was scary".

But the response she received from friends, family and members of the public was overwhelmingly positive, and now she rarely wears her wig at all.

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"I just feel like it hides me... I don't wear it to work, I don't wear it to see my boyfriend, I don't wear it around my family.

"It just isn't really a first thought to me anymore, which has really made a positive impact for myself".

Eve now uses social media to encourage body confidence and alopecia awareness.

Eve now uses social media to promote body confidence and alopecia awareness Credit: Eve Betts

"When I was growing up, social media wasn't a big thing at all, so you don't see people like you.

"The main message I want to get across to people is no matter what your insecurities are, there are a lot of other people who will feel the same way as you, and you're not on your own.

"I feel that I have alopecia and it has made me a stronger person.

"Accept yourself for who you are, because at the end of the day, if you can't change something, don't dwell on it."