Aljaz Skorjanec, 31, has revealed exclusively to Express.co.uk how competing in Strictly Come Dancing impacts his psoriasis. The Serbian-born dance professional admits the “scary” skin condition can become worse during the BBC dance contest, as it is often a colder and more stressful time of year.
Stressful time of year because of Strictly
Opening up on how his psoriasis progresses throughout the year, Aljaz said: “When it gets the best is when it is summer and there is a lot of vitamin D with the sun, UV light helps tremendously. Saltwater helps a lot.
“The worst my psoriasis is, is in the wintertime, because of the central heating in houses, because of no sunlight, and then winter time is my stressful time of the year because of Strictly.
“So everything put together makes it become its worst condition.”
However, despite his worries, Aljaz has said his wife Janette Manrara, 37, has always been “supportive” after he was diagnosed with psoriasis over 10 years ago.
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Opening up on the impact of his psoriasis on his marriage, Aljaz told Express.co.uk: “She’s been amazing, always so supportive… that this would be more than an issue that is in my head.
“Whenever it is on us, we see those things amplified, they seem much worse than what they are, but in reality, you still suffer from these things, but Janette has always been extremely supportive and understanding.
“I have an amazing wife,” he added.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes red and crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
The main symptoms of psoriasis is skin that is dry, red and covered in scales.
Mild psoriasis can be treated with creams and ointments. If these do not work, you may need light treatment (phototherapy) or stronger medicines.
Psoriasis is thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system, with your body making too many skin cells.
Aljaz was just 18 when he landed his first theatre job, which subsequently began his over a decade long battle with psoriasis.
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The performer believes the “stress” of leaving home at a young age and being in a new environment is what prompted his skin to react in an aggressive way.
Opening up on when he first noticed patches of inflamed skin on his body, Aljaz shared: “I noticed I had psoriasis when I was around 18 or 19.
“I left home to work in a theatre. I got an offer to do a theatre job, then I feel because of the stress, with moving, and being in a new environment, doing something completely different put a lot of stress on my body and on my mind.
“So that’s when my psoriasis sort of really, really sort of started to… it started covering more of my elbows and my knees. It then progressed during my 20s.”
For Aljaz, the condition has had a profound implication on his mental health over the years.
He shared: “It had a huge impact, especially at the beginning as well, because it was scary.
“You know seeing something happening on your skin that you can’t really explain or there is no reason for it.
“So it was frustrating, to say the least. So then I started trying to find different ways to treat and cure it. But the more doctors or dermatologists I would speak to, they sort of let me know, ‘This is going to be a long process. It’s never going to go away’. “
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