One of the most frequent questions you hear about Grammy-winning singer Seal is, "What happened to Seal's face?"
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. (To see a close-up image of Seal's face, click on the Related Link.)
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 books.google.com.
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 books.google.com.
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.