Are there em­bar­rass­ing med­i­cal con­di­tions unique to Aus­tralia, Dr Sam, or are em­bar­rass­ing bod­ies kind of the same the world over?

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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

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