A woman wants to help others who are living with a skin condition which left her feeling misunderstood and alone as a child.
Growing up with eczema, Amy Turbull, from Wavertree, said other kids would refuse to hold her hand for fear that she was contagious during a flare up.
It was misconceptions such as this one and a lack of understanding from medical professionals, that led Amy to pursue a career as a doctor.
READ MORE:KFC gravy leaves toddler screaming in agony as her skin 'bubbles'
The 20-year-old is currently studying medicine at St Andrew’s University and hopes to become a dermatologist so she can help people going through similar situations.
Amy first started suffering from eczema as a young child and her condition got worse when her family moved to China for mum Mary's work due to the hot and humid weather.
She has shared her story for National Eczema Week this week in a bid to raise awareness of the condition and the impact it can have on sufferers and their families.
Amy said: “I’ve had painful eczema for as long as I can remember. It would be itchy, red and hot and I’d frequently get skin infections.
"At first my family tried to use holistic and natural treatments but eventually we went down the route of strong steroids and I even took part in clinical trials when we were in China.
“Swimming is a particularly bad cause of flare ups for me which wasn’t great as I was a national swimmer at one point. I’d ask my doctor for help and they would just say to avoid swimming but it was my passion and it was so hard to be told to walk away from it.”
Today Amy can control her skin condition well, but still suffers flare ups occasionally.
She now volunteers for Eczema Outreach Support, a national charity that aims to improve conditions for children and young people with eczema and their families.
As a member of the charity's youth panel, Amy and a team of volunteers aged 16-25, all with personal experience of eczema are working to make a positive difference to young people with the condition.
Amy said: “I hadn’t heard about EOS when I was a child but it could have made a big difference to my life.
"You can feel very alone, like the only person in the world with eczema and have to deal with a lot of misconceptions. People would tell me I will grow out of it, or that this wonder cream will cure it but that isn’t the case.
“I’d even get children refusing to hold my hand if I had a flare up because they thought it was contagious.
“I often felt doctors didn’t understand me and belittled what I was going through so I want to become a doctor and make sure my patients are receiving the best possible care.
"Experiencing eczema myself and being around dermatology departments and clinical trials has definitely influenced my career path and I’m just keen to get out there and help people.”
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Acting CEO of Eczema Outreach Support, Suzi Holland said: "World Atopic Eczema Day is an important awareness day to recognise the impact eczema can have on an individual and their family.
"Eczema is often misunderstood and is much more than 'just itchy skin'.
"EOS has been supporting children with eczema and their families for ten years, growing from a small Scottish charity to a UK wide one. We support over 2000 families and look forward to another decade of empowering children and young people with eczema and their families."
You can find out more about Eczema Outreach Support by clicking here.