Sharing Good Skin Knowledge
Medical student Charissa Obeng-Nyarko, MS, knows the importance of educating youth.
Growing up, I was rarely exposed to education about my skin health. Access to this information was limited and also not a priority — there were more pressing matters. It wasn’t until later in my undergraduate studies that I realized the value of caring for my skin. Since then, I haven’t been able to hide this passion from family, friends, and colleagues. I strive to spread awareness on the value of skin health.
As a first-year medical student, I participated in the American Academy of Dermatology’s Good Skin Knowledge program because I believe in the importance of educating youth about common skin conditions and healthy skin habits. Recognizing that I could have benefited from this program as an adolescent, I partnered with a local organization serving underserved communities in surrounding counties.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with this group of kids. During each session, they were engaged and motivated to share their newfound knowledge with family and friends. After the Acne session, one girl said “Ms. Charissa, I have to tell my cousin to stop popping those pimples. She’s going to mess up her face!” I couldn’t have been prouder. With each session, I noticed the growth in knowledge, confidence, self-esteem, and team-building skills.
The session about sun protection made the greatest difference. Some kids started the session with misinformation about sunscreen use in Black people but after breaking down the facts with a small demonstration of using my own sunscreen products on my skin, I saw literacy about sunscreen use improve.
This was a phenomenal experience. It was a pleasure to share this knowledge and also learn from this group of boys and girls in return. I’m happy to have put these resources to good use.
Support Good Skin Knowledge
The Good Skin Knowledge youth education campaign provides free resources to educators to teach children about acne, skin health, and sun protection. Learn more about how you can get involved.Get involved