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Aljaz Skorjanec: Psoriasis was onerous on my psychological well being

When it involves feeling your greatest, Aljaz Skorjanec is aware of there’s nothing extra vital than good sleep.

“The first thing I did that really helped me change my sleep pattern for the better, was changing when and how I eat,” says the dancer, who tries to go away a superb “couple of hours” between consuming and going to mattress.

“And I like to sleep when it’s not too hot. Sadly, Janette is completely different to me. So that’s a hard balance!” he provides with amusing.

His spouse – Cuban-American presenter and fellow skilled dancer Janette Manrara – might choose a toastier sleeping surroundings, however judging by Skorjanec’s glowing vitality whereas we chat by way of video name, one thing is working for him.

The couple – who met again in 2010, when Manrara carried out alongside the Strictly execs in reside dance present Burn The Floor, and tied the knot in 2017 – are presently touring the UK collectively in Remembering The Oscars, which runs till May 7.


At the tip of March, Skorjanec introduced that after 9 years, he was leaving Strictly Come Dancing – and whereas “forever grateful” for the BBC present which made him a family identify, he has “lots of exciting things planned”. We’ve already seen him launch a cookbook along with his sister Lara, stuffed with family-friendly recipes and reminiscences from rising up in Slovenia.

The 32-year-old additionally lately began opening up about his experiences with psoriasis – the power pores and skin situation that causes purple, crusty patches, which might develop into painful and itchy. Experts consider it’s an autoimmune dysfunction, which means an individual’s personal immune system mistakenly assaults wholesome cells. So it’s not contagious, nevertheless it does generally run in households.

“I was always aware psoriasis was in my family,” Skorjanec recollects – nevertheless it wasn’t till he was 18 and had moved to Australia for his first job, that he began to get patches on his elbows and knees. “The good thing was, because I was in the Gold Coast, surfers’ paradise, I was able to go in the ocean and the salt water is really helpful, it calmed it down.”

He ultimately left Australia and, as time glided by, his psoriasis bought worse. Skorjanec remembers making an attempt all kinds of various lotions, searching down completely different remedies on his travels: “At one level, I’m not exaggerating, I had about 50 completely different lotions from completely different international locations. I used to be form of testing what works greatest.

“When I started doing Strictly, [my] stress levels increased a bit because of the workload and schedule – I’m not complaining, it was just significantly more responsibility that comes with the job – and that’s when my psoriasis started flaring up way more,” he provides. “It wasn’t just a couple of little patches, it started appearing more in different parts of my body, my arms, legs and my back.”

Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec on the 2019 Strictly launch (Ian West/PA)

It wasn’t only a visible factor – the psoriasis was bodily uncomfortable and sore, too. At this level, Skorjanec began utilizing steroid remedies, even getting it injected throughout a very extreme flare-up. Eventually although, he discovered himself in a vicious cycle. While usually efficient within the short-term, long-term use of sturdy steroid remedies could be related to side-effects, and a few folks report that it leaves them with worse pores and skin issues.

“Steroid creams work – it’s not that they don’t work – but [in my case], it got rid of it for a couple of days or weeks, then more than likely it came back with a vengeance, not just in that same spot, but the areas around the affected area. So I was in this vicious cycle,” he explains. “It was frustrating, and that was going on for a long time. There was one year on Strictly [when he was partnered with Daisy Lowe in 2016] when I could only pretty much wear turtlenecks, because my psoriasis was so bad.”

Deciding to talk up about his well being battle on BBC One’s Morning Live a year-and-a-half in the past proved a turning level. Skorjanec was contacted by Medovie, a brand new skincare vary producing lotions and capsules focusing on dry, irritated pores and skin points.

Now, he says his pores and skin is in “the most manageable and best condition” it’s been for years – and breaking free from the “vicious cycle” he was in with remedy has been a “massive relief”. He’s so happy with the outcomes he’s personally skilled, he’s now develop into an envoy for the model. “I was never going to endorse something that I don’t believe works,” says Skorjanec. “We all need different things to treat our problems, but for me, Medovie really worked.”

Talking publicly about his psoriasis has been an eye-opener in different methods, too. “The response from people – how many people contacted me and sent me photos – touched me quite a bit. That’s when I decided I want to relate myself to something I truly believe in,” he explains.

“Being a youngster after which in your 20s, particularly how the world is – it’s all about your look, the best way you look. And on tv and the dance trade, it’s all about expressing your self by means of your physique. And then in case your physique is roofed in psoriasis… I’m not going to lie, it was robust. It was onerous on my psychological well being, and I used to be actually self-conscious.

“I still don’t wear shorts, that’s kind of stayed with me,” Skorjanec admits. “T-shirts, I’m OK with now. I feel I’m very much at peace with who I am and what I look like, but when you’re growing up, and God forbid you’re in an environment where no one has any knowledge about psoriasis and people think it’s contagious – they’re going to get it if they touch you. I’ve gone through so many moments like that and it’s not pleasant, it’s not nice. I feel for everybody that ever has to go through it.”

Skincare apart, for the dancer, managing his psoriasis is about his general life-style too, avoiding his particular person triggers and taking steps to de-stress – therefore these steps to enhance his sleep. He additionally avoids an excessive amount of of sure meals after discovering he was illiberal to them, together with dairy – “and the worst thing for my skin is spicy chilli, then grapes” – and makes use of a UV gentle machine for a couple of minutes a day whereas at residence. “And what really works for me as well, is those bags of Dead Sea salt, or non-fragranced bath salt,” he provides.

He says he’s “too scatter-brained” to meditate however likes to change off watching motion pictures and TV with Manrara at any time when they’ll. “We’ve always had that outlet,” he says. “And we go for a stroll or simply go into nature. Where I grew up in Slovenia was so lovely, so I missed that tremendously residing in a giant metropolis like London.

“But you need to find your roots again, even if that’s five minutes standing outside on your balcony or in your garden,” says Skorjanec. “Just to give yourself a little peace.”

Always seek the advice of your physician earlier than making any adjustments to your skincare or remedy regime



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