Voiceover: Dionne Rodden suffers from a condition so rare that for twelve years no one has been able to identify it.
Dionne: It first appeared when I was about thirteen years old, about two weeks after I decided to shave my legs for the first time. I went to the doctors and they told me I was actually allergic to the razors. That was the first thing I was told. I then went to see a dermatologist and they told me it was a very bad form of eczema or a skin condition but they couldn’t give me a name for it. They didn’t actually know what it was. Actually my skin cracks apart and peels, then it fuses itself back together again, then cracks apart and bleeds, fuses itself back together again. It’s absolute agony. I’ve took to actually bandaging my legs whenever that would happen. Applying lots and lots of cream to it, then taking the bandage off would be a problem as little parts of the bandage would be embedded in the skin and it would be agony to try and tweeze little pieces of bandage out of my legs.
Voiceover: Dionne has suffered for twelve years, often bedridden with the pain. She’s seen dozens of specialists but no one knows what her condition is. After twelve years of suffering, Dionne decides to visit the embarrassing illnesses clinic.
Dr Dawn: Come on in, take a seat. Tell me what can I do for you?
Dionne: I have a skin condition on my legs where it peels apart and stretches and it bleeds.
Dr Dawn: Is it sore?
Dionne: It can be very, very sore.
Dr Dawn: Well, I probably need to have a little look actually, Dionne. Can I get you to pop up on the couch?
Dr Dawn: Ah, ok. And this is good is it?
Dionne: This is it at its best.
Dr Dawn: When it’s bad do they flake off?
Dionne: Yes and it will bleed through these cracks here and that’s when it will crack and bleed.
Dr Dawn: So it actually cracks on these paler areas?
Dr Dawn: I think it’s something called Ichthyosis, have you ever heard that term before?
Dr Dawn: No? It’s a condition where the skin scales much more than normal because, of course, it’s normal for us to shed skin, skin cells only live about 14 days and then we shed them. People with Ichthyosis tend to shed much more skin, they produce more layers of skin and they shed it more. It often does crack so it scales and cracks so exactly the kind of thing you are describing. There’s bad news and good news. The bad news is it’s not curable but the good news is there’s quite a lot we can do to make it better and this certainly isn’t the worst case I’ve seen, ok? Jolly good.
Voiceover: A specialist dermatologist prescribes another set of creams but this time she has to apply them in an altogether new way.
Dionne: This is one of my rituals that I have to go through on a daily basis which is mixing two creams together then applying the cling film, which I then take off about hour to two hours later. Occasionally I’ll sleep with it on.
Voiceover: After twelve years, has Dionne at last found her miracle cure?
Voiceover: For years no one has been able to diagnose Dionne’s scaly legs. Dawn came up with Ichthyosis and prescribed a simple cellophane and cream treatment. But, did it work?
Dr Dawn: Hi Dionne. Come on in. Now tell me, how have you got on?
Dionne: Everything is going quite well actually.
Dr Dawn: Really?
Dr Dawn: Shall we have a little look? Oh wow! Dionne, that’s loads better. That is phenomenal!
Dionne: It’s fantastic. Now I don’t have to worry about bandaging it up anymore because there hasn’t been any splitting or cracking whatsoever.
Dr Dawn: That’s incredible!
Dionne: It’s fantastic.
Dr Dawn: You’ll be wearing shorts and skirts, won’t you this summer?
Dionne: Summer here I come!
Dr Dawn: That’s phenomenal. I’m really pleased. They look great and they feel great.
Dionne: Yeah. I’m well happy now.
Dr Dawn: Well done! That’s brilliant. Well, thank you for coming back.
Dionne: You’re welcome. Thank you for your first diagnosis, otherwise I might not have known. Bye.
Dr Dawn: Take care.
Dr Harper treats a women for the skin condition Ichthyosis, with amazing results.
The treatment given to this patient was a combination of Cetraben, Culmurid and Eucerin and then a cling film wrap, but it might not work for everyone so best to go to your GP and get their professional opinion.
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