We know and love him for his incredible dance talent and adorable relationship with fellow professional dancer and wife Janette Manrara, but what you may not know about Strictly Come Dancing's Aljaž Škorjanec is that he has been secretly dealing with an ongoing skin condition that has affected his mental health and physical wellbeing.
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In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, Aljaž opened up about his struggle with psoriasis – an inflammatory skin condition thought to be caused by a weakened immune system. The condition had an immense effect on the star's wellbeing as he faced Strictly's stage lights in short-sleeved costumes.
WATCH: Behind the scenes with Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara
When Aljaž first noticed his psoriasis flaring up as a teenager, he had just moved to Australia to pursue a professional career in dancing. "I put my mind under stress moving into a different place and living on my 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."
Stumped at finding a solution, the star revealed as the years went on, he tried "everything" to find a fix. "The only thing that really helped for a long time was steroids", he said.
The star opened up about his struggle with ongoing psoriasis
"It then started 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."
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Talking candidly about his struggles, Aljaž 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 dancer praised his wife Janette for being his ultimate support
31-year-old Aljaž opened up about his lowest point living with the skin condition, describing his worst flare-up as one of the "busiest times" in his life.
"It was a few years ago, it was right before I started Strictly. For whatever reason, I didn't take much of a break that summer. I kind of went straight through work, work, work, and rarely gave myself time off."
"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"
The star praised the Strictly makeup and costume team for their understanding
"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."
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Passionate about breaking the taboo of chronic skin conditions and encouraging others to be kind to those suffering, Aljaž said: "Because skin conditions are so visual, they encourage people to pick up on them more easily. And that's why it's so important to talk about it and understand it."
"Psoriasis is not a pleasant thing to have. It takes a lot of time to manage it, both physically and mentally. So I do hope that one day, we get to the point where we find something that cures it. But for now, the best product that I have found is Medovie."
Aljaž was approached by Medovie's Scientific Founder, Nadav Shraibom
The star shared that he was approached by the scientific founder of skincare brand Medovie, who shared a natural approach to treating a chronic skin condition with completely natural elements – and he saw an almost instant result, leaving his skin looking the best it's looked "in a decade without the use of a steroid cream."
Aljaž Škorjanec is using Medovie products, a natural solution for those with chronic skin conditions with a unique 3HX formula that has been clinically proven to provide long-term results. Available at www.medovie.com.
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