Posted Monday, July 25, 2011



Why is Seal's face scarred?

ne of the most frequent questions you hear about Grammy-winning singer Seal is, "What happened to Seal's face?"

Four kids fighting for lifts is no pain in the neck for Seal, who happily gives 5-year-old son Henry a boost while playing in New York City's Central Park in spring 2009.

Seal, wife (Heidi Klum), son

Seal with wife Heidi Klum and the kids at Disneyland.


Seal is famous for singing "Kiss From a Rose" and other award-winning songs. But he is also well-known for his visible facial scarring. Lines of scarring are clearly visible on both sides of his face.

Speculating About What Happened to Seal's Countenance

It is easy to speculate about Seal's scars. The raised lines of scarring look like something you might get in a knife fight resulting in scars. The scars might also look like scars from a car accident or similar mishap causing scars.

Jet magazine quotes Seal as saying: "People want the scars to be tribal scars. That's just the nature of the media and of people's imaginations." Source: Celebrities Who Have Overcome Obstacles, Jet, June 10, 1996, available at

What Really Happened to Seal's Countenance

But Seal's scars are not the result of violence. Jet reported that Seal's facial scars are the result of the disease lupus. At age 23, Seal developed discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE), a rare form of the disease causing scars. Source: Celebrities Who Have Overcome Obstacles, Jet, June 10, 1996, available at

According to The Lupus Book, only ten percent of lupus patients have DLE. Thick, scaly lesions appear on these patients' skin, especially skin that is exposed to sunlight. If untreated, the lesions can turn cancerous. Source: Daniel J. Wallace, The Lupus Book, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, pages 70-71.

Lupus is an auto-immune disease that is passed down genetically. It is unknown when Seal's Lupus developed. A number of on-line sources claim that Seal developed lupus as an infant or as a teen (e.g., as of April 5, 2009, Wikipedia's entry for Seal claims the disease presented itself when Seal was a teen, though no sources are cited). I have not found any authoritative source for that claim. As cited previously, Jet magazine claims Seal did not show signs of the disease until age 23. This claim is consistent with public comments Seal has made.

Discoid Lupus is a chronic skin condition of sores with inflammation and scarring favoring the face, ears, and scalp and at times on other body areas. The exact cause of this auto-immune disease is unknown.

Seal Samuel has a skin ailment called discoid lupus. There is a half moon scar that lies under his eyes due to this ailment. But this scar it seems had begun to form since his childhood days.

From Wikipedia

Seal was born Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adelo Samuel on 19 February 1963 in Kilburn in North London, England to a Nigerian mother Adebisi Samuel and Brazilian father Francis Samuel.

His name, Olusegun, means "God is victorious".

He was raised in a district of the City of Westminster in inner London by his foster family. He received a two-year diploma, or associate's degree, in architecture and worked in various jobs in the London area.

Although there have long been rumours as to the cause of the scars on his face, they are in fact the result of a type of Lupus called Discoid lupus erythematosus a condition that specifically affects the skin above the neck.

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