Empowering You to be You

While it may not always be severe or life-threatening, having a visible difference can be life-altering. Because you can’t hide it, it can affect your relationships, your self-image, and your physical and mental well-being. It can even be a source of bullying. And let’s face it, when your child suffers, so do you. When your child is so itchy that he doesn’t get a good night’s sleep, neither do you. When your child comes home from school wondering why she looks different, your heart sinks. Because you want the world, and most importantly your children, to see themselves the way you do — as beautiful, unique human beings.

For the past 15 years, I have spent weeks in the summer and winter as part of the medical team at camps for children affected by skin conditions, and I have learned more about how best to care for these children than I could ever learn from a textbook or from years and years of training. The experiences I’ve had with these children, learning and seeing for myself how they live and cope with skin disease, hearing their worries, hopes, and dreams, witnessing their lightness of being and relief at being in a safe place where they aren’t constantly stared at or bullied, where they can build their confidence and independence by being challenged with new experiences, where they can feel the joy of being surrounded by the love of those who understand, solidified the career path I chose for myself and continues to renew my spirit and reinforce why I do what I do. When you show the world how you love the skin you’re in in the way that you care for it, honor it, and celebrate it, you share the love you have in your heart. And isn’t that what we all want? To be truly seen and understood for who we are? It is one of my life’s blessings to be your guide. My greatest joy as a dermatologist is the day I can set you free, knowing how strong, resilient, and uniquely beautiful you are.

My promise to you is that I will always do my best to acknowledge and support more than just your physical health but your social and emotional needs as well and to empower you with the knowledge that you are loved, you are valued, and you are beautiful for everything that makes you uniquely you.

May the light inside you always shine brightly for all to see!

With deepest gratitude and love,

Dr. Meena Julapalli

Learn more about how your empowerment can inspire you and others to pay it forward: Advocate