I was on Embarrassing Bodies to help others with condition, says Josh Steele, of Leicester
A 24-year-old man bared almost all on television to raise awareness of an unsightly and uncomfortable skin condition.
Josh Steele, of Braunstone Gate, in Leicester's West End. decided to seek help for his psoriasis on the Channel 4 programme Embarrassing Bodies.
During the programme, screened on Monday evening, viewers could see the thick red blotches and white scaly patches covering his arms, legs and body, caused by dead skin building up on the surface of the skin.
Josh said he decided to give the show a go after trying several different treatments.
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"Someone mentioned the programme and I do get fed up with people saying, 'have you tried this hocus pocus and that,' so I decided to apply to go on," he said.
"I also thought that by going on the programme and by looking a bit stupid it might make some people with psoriasis feel a bit better about themselves and make other people more aware of the condition."
Josh has suffered from psoriasis for about nine years.
"It began when I was about 15 and has got progressively worse," he said.
"I have never let it bother me. I am not lacking in self-confidence – you could say I am quite arrogant – and have got used to people calling me things like 'the lizard'. Given a choice, I wouldn't have it and I wonder if my appearance has affected my chances when going for jobs.
"I used to go to the doctor about it but I was given all sorts of creams and nothing fixed it so I didn't see any point in carrying on."
However, following the Embarrassing Bodies programme, Josh is now having second thoughts.
"Within a week of applying to the show I was seen by a doctor and started on drugs.
"Within a month there was a marked improvement and it did feel better," he said.
Dr Anton Alexandroff, a consultant dermatologist at Leicester's Nuffield Hospital, put John on a course of the drug Cyclosporin, which suppresses the immune system.
It was originally used to prevent transplant rejection but has proved effective in treating psoriasis.
The disadvantage of the medication is that patients can only stay on it for a limited time.
Josh has found the psoriasis has returned since the show was filmed.
However, Dr Alexandroff, who is also a consultant dermatologist at Leicester's hospitals, said there were other ways to help with his condition.
"We managed to do well with Josh's psoriasis," Dr Alexandroff said.
"The problem is that the drug cannot be used long-term. However, there are other ways in which we can help with treatment.
"Once Josh has been transferred to the NHS, we will be able to do this."