Here Come The Boys: Aljaž Škorjanec previews West End show
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Slovenian born dancer, Aljaz Skorjanec, is about to reappear on our screens once again with the start of the new BBC Strictly Come Dancing series. As a professional he will guide and teach one celebrity to become a ballroom and latin dancer in a bid to impress the panel of judges. Opening up in an interview, the star revealed that a skin condition he suffers with takes away some of the glitz and glam of the show.
The star suffers with an inflammatory skin condition known as psoriasis. The NHS states that the condition causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
Opening up about his struggle with the condition to Hello! Aljaz said that when wearing short-sleeved costumes under the Strictly lights he felt anxious and paranoid.
He said: “It affects you – it obviously does. Especially doing what I do which is so ‘out there’, everything is about your body, your physique, and the way you look at the end of the day.
“I just hope that me just talking about it will help someone with psoriasis see themselves in a different way. It’s something that is manageable, and you can live with it and you can get over it. In your mind.”
The star has suffered with the condition since he was a teen, first noticing it after a big move to Australia. At the time he put the appearance of the condition down to stress and “living on [his] own for the first time.”
“It was a lot of hard work on my mind and body. And I feel like through that stress, my psoriasis started appearing,” Aljaz said.
“When I then started Strictly professional rehearsals, my skin really flared up. Sweat doesn’t help in rehearsals because sweat is acidic. And if you don’t cleanse your skin of sweat, it irritates the skin. So if you suffer from something like psoriasis (and in rehearsals I sweat a lot normally), that’s when it got really bad and that’s when it started really appearing on my face.
“That’s when it really started affecting my confidence, my self-esteem and just my general wellbeing as well to be honest. Every time I would get up in the morning to brush my teeth, the first thing I saw was myself and all I could see was the sore redness under my eyes.”
Although patches usually appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back they can appear anywhere on your body. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore.
People with psoriasis have an increased production of skin cells as the NHS explains. Usually skin cells are made and replaced every three to four weeks, but with psoriasis this process takes about three to seven days.
This results in a build-up of skin cells and creates the patches of psoriasis. Although not fully understood, the condition is thought to be related to a problem with the immune system as it attacks healthy skin cells by mistake.
Aljaz continued to say: “It was a struggle, I’m going to be honest, but everyone at Strictly was so understanding and so supportive of me”. The professional dancer revealed that the dedicated makeup team were always on hand to help him apply an extra layer of cover up.
“The costume department was amazing. I mean, they really were incredible. They were completely fine with me wearing long sleeves for most of the season and made so much effort trying to make me feel as comfortable as I possibly could be.”
Getting support from his colleagues, Aljaz was still desperate to make his condition disappear. Seeing roughly “so different specialists” the dancer has tried multiple remedies.
He commented: “It was very frustrating because each time, I would think I’d found a solution, but after a couple of weeks my skin would get back to its old ways and the problem seemed to come back worse than before, which felt even more infuriating.”
One of the things that he found helped for a long time was steroids, but he soon found that this was not an effective solution.
After another flare up of the condition due to lockdown stress and his and Janette’s tour cancellation, skincare specialist Nadav Shraibom got in touch with the professional dancer.
Using a trio of herbs from traditional Chinese medicine to support problem skin, the expert had developed a range of products to help ease the symptoms of psoriasis. After using the products developed by Nadav, Aljaz said: “This is the longest I’ve gone without steroid cream in years – I was always using it alongside all the other creams that I would be trying at any given moment – and it thins the skin which makes the problem worse in the long run.
“I’ve been using Medovie for about three months now and my skin is the best it has been for a decade. I’m thrilled. I’ve never had this result with any other product – it’s amazing.”
When visiting your GP, the first treatment used will be a tropical treatment such as vitamin D. These are administered in creams or ointments applied to the skin. If like Alijaz, a solution to the condition is not as simple there are other solutions to try.
One of these is phototherapy. This involves exposing your skin to certain types of ultraviolet light. This treatment is also widely used to treat eczema and may take one or two months of steady therapy before individuals start to see results.
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