There are medical conditions which some people consider rather embarrassing to face. A number of these conditions have been featured on the Channel 4 programme Embarrassing Bodies. The conditions include extreme forms of obesity, certain kinds of disfigurement of the face or other parts of the body, and unusual growth on parts of the skin or other parts of the anatomy. Some of these issues may be so “obvious” that other people may notice them, or they may be so small and on a part of the body usually covered by clothes that only the sufferer knows of its existence. In either case, these conditions can be a source of immense worry and distress, sometimes for many years.
There are some embarrassing medical conditions which pass away with time. For instance, some teenagers experience severe attacks of acne and pimples which go away with age. There is no need for despair if you are experiencing an embarrassing medical condition. Here are some steps you can take to get more information and help:
Get the facts: Finding out as much as possible about the skin condition can be helpful. The information may help you understand whether the condition is a serious one requiring treatment or just an aesthetic issue. You can find out whether the skin condition is treatable or not, and what skin treatment options are available if any. Whether you find this information by visiting your doctor, looking it up on the internet or visiting your local library or bookshop, the time invested will be worth your while, especially in clearing up any misinformation that may have been a source of worry and concern.
Read about other people’s experiences: It may also be help to hear or read about other people’s experiences of a particular condition and their way of handling it. The archive of the Embarrassing Bodies online is a useful resource as are other medical resources on the internet. You can view short clips of people talking about a condition you may be also be experiencing, which can help you find out about how other people have dealt with a particular condition. Also, with scores of people writing online to share their personal experiences of various embarrassing medical conditions, you get to see that you are not alone in the situation; and you may even get information about options for help that you hadn’t previously considered.
Discuss your options with your doctor: If you want the condition treated or handled in some way, it’s best to have a discussion with your doctor or a qualified medical professional. You can find out if the condition can be treated with a particular medical procedure and learn about the risks involved. With some skin conditions and unusual growths on the body, modern laser treatments may be an option to consider.
Get counselling or psychological advice: This can be a source of great comfort and assurance, especially for ongoing problems which cannot be treated easily or which cannot be treated at all. If you get the assurance from your doctor that what you perceive as a problem is just normal and you are still not satisfied with that, counselling may help you come to terms with it.
Above all, resolve not to suffer in silence if you have what you consider to be an embarrassing medical condition. Investigate all your options and don’t hesitate to contact our practice nurse at the Ryder Clinic to make an appointment if you want to consider any of the treatments offered here.[Photos by xenia]