Woman solves ‘awkward’ dating problem
WARNING: Graphic images
For over 20 years, Hanna Sillitoe battled with agonising psoriasis, eczema and acne.
Her skin condition was so painful she says she struggled to get dressed in the mornings and it often left her unable to work.
At its worst, a doctor prescribed her with a chemo drug and she tried endless steroid creams with no signs of improvement.
But the UK author eventually was able to end her battle by adding a daily drink to her diet.
The 41-year-old, who recently released her new book Skin Healing Expert, where she revealed her discovery.
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"A little green juice changed my life," Ms Sillitoe explains on her website.
Even she admits that it sounds "far-fetched and kooky", that the leafy, vegetable drink was the catalyst for a "huge transformation in what I put into my body and onto my skin".
Over the years she had become addicted to an unhealthy diet of carb filled, sugary junk until she decided to quit all alcohol, refined sugar, dairy, wheat and caffeine.
Instead, she opted for a fully vegan diet and hoped it would make a difference - and it did.
"If I'm at a friend's birthday, I might have the occasional slice of cake and on holiday I might have some bread or pasta," she told The Sun.
"I'm still drinking green juice every day and I used to love Diet Coke but I cut that out completely. It all sounds really boring but it makes me feel so much better and keeps my skin clear."
It was when she developed the "worst flare" four years ago, that she decided to alter her diet.
"Psoriasis covered my body, eczema tightened my eyelids, my skin was painful and itchy and I hated it," she said.
"This time my doctor suggested a medication called Methotrexate. This is a chemotherapy drug. Had my health and skin deteriorated to such an extent that I needed cancer meds to make me well again? I panicked at the side effects and decided there and then I had to do something about it," she explained on her site.
Initially, she was told by her doctor that changing her diet would have no positive impact on her skin.
"Nobody suggested I should consider stopping this unhealthy cycle of rubbish I was fuelling my body with. In fact, the very opposite. My doctor adamantly told me that changing my diet would have absolutely no impact on my skin."
Despite the extreme changes, Ms Sillitoe said it is worth it after struggling with psoriasis from the age of 15.
"My body hurt, I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I'd become tired of constantly being sick and tired. And above everything, I was fed up of the way I looked. I tried everything the doctor offered me."
She told The Sun her skin condition was a big part of the reason she was single for most of her 20s and 30s.
"At an age where all my friends were getting into relationships, I just found it so uncomfortable to date," she told the publication.
"I'd cover up and then a few weeks into a relationship I'd think 'I can't hide it anymore'.
"When it reached a point where I'd want to get intimate with someone, I'd have to explain all about my skin but I found it too awkward.
"So I'd get a few weeks into dating someone and then when it started to get more serious, I'd just run away."
However today, Ms Sillitoe said she is a lot more confident and has even recently started dating someone new.
She is also on a mission to help others battling a skin condition, adding most are caused by underlying problems in the gut, which then present as eczema or psoriasis.
Although she admits her tips might not work for everyone, she wants people to try changing their diet before going onto harsher drugs.
"With the steroids and creams, all the doctors are doing is suppressing the symptoms, but the underlying problem's still there. We need to focus on healing from the inside," she told The Sun.
"For so many people, the changes happen within a month or two, you only need 30 days to see if it's helping.
"I've helped thousands of people, I get messages on Instagram every single week with pictures. My first book had 450 glowing reviews."
Ms Sillitoe said she understands why people are drawn to what feels like a 'quick fix' from the doctors but "it's important to remember none of these are a cure".
"I treat a GP from Manchester and it's taken her five years to stop suffering from topical steroid withdrawal," she explained.
"I think doctors need to make people aware of how common these side effects actually are."
Originally published as Woman solves 'awkward' dating problem