Are there embarrassing medical conditions unique to Australia, Dr Sam, or are embarrassing bodies kind of the same the world over?
I think they’re the same the world over. And people’s reticence to get things checked out or treated early is also the same, unfortunately. Some people just have that initial fear of going to the doctor – some people don’t like exposing any problem, regardless of its nature.
Then there’s the next step, where a problem has been there for some time and they’ve ignored it but it’s now reached the stage where they simply can’t any more and they feel terrible they’ve left it so long. And it’s the mission of Embarrassing Bodies to help remove some of that reluctance, right? The show is about health education. Yes, we are presenting specific conditions and information about those conditions, but it’s also about promoting trust in those people watching at home who may say “I have that!”
And rather than wait six years for it to be treated, as some people on the show have, they’ll hopefully make the decision to go to the doctor and have it seen now.
We want to educate people that they don’t have to live with a condition that devastates their self- esteem or stops them from going out or forming relationships. We want people to look after themselves better, live longer and live healthier. What can you tell us about some of the conditions on Embarrassing Bodies Down Under? I have literally seen issues from head to toe. I had a woman come in with a terrible story about going bald – hair is such an issue for women, it’s linked so much with appearance and attractiveness.
Then I saw a woman with webbed toes – her husband didn’t see her feet until well into their marriage, and she has friends who have never seen them.
Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, Tuesday, LifeStyle You ( Foxtel), 9.30pm