A teenager battling acne is using her experiences to help others cope with the condition.
Sixteen-year-old Amber Jackson’s aim is to make people understand what it is like to have acne – from the physical pain to discrimination and bullying.
She said: “I don’t think many people realise just how distressing acne can be.
“There is so much peer pressure to look good, especially for teenagers. And that’s on top of the stress of studying and exams.”
Amber first started developing acne when she was 12 or 13 but then it became severe last December.
She tried a range of treatments but nothing really worked until she got in contact with a dermatologist earlier this year.
Amber said: “I call her my Fairy Godmother because the lotions and products and cleansing tips she gave me have made a huge difference to my skin.
“I’m keen to help others and remind them this is a short-term thing and it can be dealt with. It will not last forever and you can get through it.”
Amber, from Lewes, has spent hours on the internet watching videos on how to put on makeup to cover her spots and reading as much information as she could find.
She has set up her own YouTube channel and a blog where she offers advice, support and tips.
Amber said: “I now know there are so many people in a similar position to me who are unhappy because they have acne or look different. It can affect boys too.
“But for them it is often even more difficult because it is not generally socially acceptable for boys to use makeup to conceal it.”
Amber’s passion to help other people has led to her taking up a brand new venture.
She contacted Changing Faces, a national charity which supports and advises people with visible differences, from acne and eczema to burns and facial paralysis.
The charity was so impressed by her attitude and communication skills, she has now been invited to become one of its champions and sit on its Young People’s Council.
Amber said: “I’m really excited about this opportunity. I hope to raise awareness, change attitudes and help with fund-raising.”
“Since I have started to talk openly about my acne, my friends, and even people I don’t know, via my You Tube channel and blog, have confided in me and asked for advice.
“Others have congratulated me on having the confidence to speak out.
“Somehow I have found increased confidence and comfort in knowing I am not alone. I also really enjoy being able to help others.”
Amber’s blog can be found at www.stylebyamber.com.
For more details about Changing Faces, visit www.changingfaces.org.uk.
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