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Self-care starts with skin care

Meenu Reddy, BS, led the Boy Scouts in her community to open up and talk about their skin.

Meenu’s story

Meenu Reddy, BS, taught the Boy Scouts in her community to be comfortable talking about their skin.
Meenu Reddy, BS in Human Biology and Society at UCLA and Stritch School of Medicine Class of 2024, taught the Boy Scouts in her community to be comfortable talking about their skin.
Serving as a mentor and a guide for the Boy Scouts in my group to come out of their comfort zone and discuss the importance of caring for their skin, as well as some misconceptions about skin care, has been a truly invaluable experience. Using the AAD’s Good Skin Knowledge materials was such a wonderful opportunity to create a collaborative and exciting environment for the Boy Scouts to discuss the intricacies of beneficial skin care habits.

During our first session, although the boys were initially hesitant to participate in the conversation and ask or answer questions, the interactive skin model exercise quickly sparked their interest — and most importantly, excitement! The skin model activity opened the doors to a dialogue centered around the complexity of the skin and the importance of taking the time and extra effort to care for the largest organ of the human body.

Observing the engagement and participation of the boys during our first session, one parent of a child with psoriasis reached out with a humble request to focus on the emotional aspects of skin care in future meetings. This was perhaps the defining moment of my mentoring experience with the Good Skin Knowledge program. I realized that I had the invaluable platform of advocating for these children and fostering their self-esteem and confidence.

Therefore, as we progressed into the next sessions, we focused on discussing the normalcy of acne and other skin conditions. In our conversations, the emphasis was directed towards accepting the different manifestations of skin and more importantly, in taking the time and extra effort to care for the needs of our skin. A slogan that the boy scouts created to embody the core of these meetings was, “Self-care starts with skin care.”

Looking back on this experience, I realize the profound impact these sessions had on the boy scouts I had the privilege of working with. As I observed during the beginning of our first session, boys in our society may sometimes feel uncomfortable when discussing a personal topic like skin care and acne. They may gravitate toward sentiments that these aspects are not as important for boys and should not be discussed. However, the Good Skin Knowledge program fostered an interest in caring for and respecting one’s skin by providing an opportunity to learn about this complex organ. Just as the young Boy Scout now views his psoriasis as a special aspect of his skin and an opportunity to show his skin some daily TLC, I hope that I was able to make even a small impact on our next generation!

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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.

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