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Episode Guide

Episode 8 - Oral

Wednesday 3rd June 2009, 9pm Channel 4

First up, is 26-year-old David whose rotting, bleeding, puss-filled armpit has left him unable to lift up his arm without tearing the skin. The problem is diagnosed as Hidradenitis Suppurativa, a condition in which the sweat glands are blocked up, infected and develop into boils. Dr Christian sends a swab sample for analysis to reveal the bacteria infecting David, in order to prescribe the appropriate antibiotics. In the meantime, David is told to take steroids to help contain the symptoms and has been referred to a surgeon to see what can be done about the damaged skin.

Hidradenitis Suppurutiva

The EB Bus heads out to Cambridge, and first to see Dr Pixie is Lucy who has a problem growing hair, whilst Dr Christian sees a 3-year-old that has problems staying on her feet. Meanwhile, Dr Priya meets a footballer whose passing is not being helped by a curling toe.

Next up there is David who consults with Dr Christian about pains in his penis and lower back. Believing that the pain is stemming from his nerves, Dr Christian recommends acupuncture treatment.

Penis Problems

Dr James meets 35-year-old rocker Neil whose teeth are hanging on by a thread as a result of advanced gum disease. Dr James saves many of Neil’s teeth by restoring them with porcelain crowns, but the teeth that couldn’t be saved have to be replaced with dentures.

The doctors hit the streets of Cambridge to conduct a breath test and teach the locals about better oral hygiene. Wendy has been suffering from bad breath and heads to see a specialist that finds the root of the problem – gum disease.

If you want to find an NHS Dentist in your area then use the NHS Service Finder

Gum Disease

Visiting the clinic next is Stacy, who has a problem with piles. Dr Priya examines Stacy and discovers that she’s also suffering from skin tags. As other treatments have thus far failed, Dr Priya suggests a visit to the surgeon to have both the skin tags and the piles removed. There is also a visit from Allison, a newlywed from Lancashire who is experiencing pain during sex. Dr Pixie’s examination doesn’t reveal anything sinister with Allison’s body and so she recommends psycho-sexual counselling to try and get to the root of Allison’s problem.

Sexual Dysfunction

Next up we see 24-year-old Holly who has come to see Dr Pixie about her sweaty palms. As botox injections are ineffective for palmar hyperhidrosis, a procedure utilizing electric currents is suggested. Holly’s iontophorisis treatments show significant improvements and the good news is that she can get a machine at home to continue with these treatments on a permanent basis.

And finally, after conducting a sweat test after his own workout, Dr Christian meets up with the Cambridge University boat race team to calculate their sweat rates and help work out how much water they need to keep themselves healthy and hydrated. You can conduct your own sweat test at home by checking out our Sweat Body Check

The EB Team would like to thank:

The Cadogan Clinic
Margaret Tonge, Clinical Supervisor
Michelle Donald, Psycho-Sexual Therapist, Relate Preston
Leon Southgate, Wirral Community Acupuncturist
Gill Reeves: Nurse, Poole Hospital
Mr Tariq Ismail, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon &
The Birmingham Bowel Clinic
Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company
The Arcadians
The Argosy
Solihull Operatic Society
Queensbridge Musical Theatre Society
Alexandra Theatre
Baker Street Medical Centre
Film Birmingham

Channel 4 is not responsible for the contents of external websites

Comments and Questions

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I'm really worried as when I walk around people say that I smell of weed when I don't smoke it . I do smoke but I don't smoke heavily . Is this normal?





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I have had HS for a while now, I am 28, I have it in the inner thigh area mostly it comes and goes, from what I see from others mine is relatively mild. I have maybe one or 2 bumps at a time, because of the thin skin in the area, I find Retin A gel a bit helpful but can cause the area to be raw. A very strong course of Erythromycin 400mg, anti swelling pills like Danzen helps too. the key it to keep the area as dry and clean as possible. A non soap or anti bacterioal , ph neutral cleanser will be good. Generally if i take these steps they will come to a stage where they can be popped safely and treated carefully it will heal and be fine. For those that cannot be popped do not try as it will cause a great deal of main and more swelling, get a doctor to drain it with a needle.





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how do i watch the episode????





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I am writing to say how upset I am with the way that Embarrasing Bodies has represented the disease Hidradenitis Suppurativa. It has basically portrayed that HS is a skin infection that occurs in the sweat glands and this is certainly not the case. A secondary infection can occur which obviously needs to be treated with the appropriate antibiotics, however HS itself is not an infection and is very debilitating to suffer from. I have suffered myself for approximately 15 years and was only diagnosed in 2005. My main concern in airing HS in your programme this way, has angered all those who suffer from the illness due to the misrepresentation of the disease. For those who have only been recently diagnosed or for those who think they suffer from HS will be completely mis-lead into thinking the cause is known and there is a cure but this is not the case. I am a member of the uk support group at yahoo and am ther founder of the first UK HS charity the British Association for Hidradenitis Suppurativa (www.ba-hs.org.uk). I am getting very angry at how little is known about HS and what is put into the public eye is incorrect information. I would be grateful if you will take my comments into account and look forward to any feedback possible. Regards Tara





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I have to agree with everything Tara has said to you, as a sufferer for 30 years and co owner of Hidradenitis Suppurativa Friends support group (www.hsfriends.co.uk) it is really heart breaking for us when people join the group and say they saw this Man/Woman on Channel four Embarrassing Bodies and they were cured!!! please when you next do a piece on Hidradenitis Suppurativa can you point out that the area in question was treated and healed but that doesn't mean that HS will not come back in that area that was treated. Hidradenitis Suppurativa is a very uncaring disease it never gives up attacking the sufferer both Physically and Mentally it can be soul destroying. I thank you for getting the disease out there in the public eye, but if were going to do it at least lets do it right! Regards Bev

totally agree with tara - i've had hs for more than 30 years and found the medical profession fairly ignorant about what it is and what might have caused it. i'm also a member of the uk support group at yahoo - and also a trustee of the british association for hidradenitis suppurativa. and, like tara and several other people, am angry at how little is known about hs and how it is misrepresented by the media. from reading the comments on here, it is apparent that hs is more prevalent that at first thought and it is thanks to programmes such as embarrassing illnesses to highlight this. although it has been misrepresented by channel 4 as being curable - it's not. thanks pat

Hello i missed the part in the programme about what can cause bad breath. I dont have gum disease as i go to my dentist every 6 months. I think i thought i heard the liver and heart mentioned - how seriosly would my docter take me if i said i have uncontrollable bad breath! I seem to get a horrible coating at the back of my tongue that i can scrape off and it really smells





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i have large painful lumps under my armpits and have had them for about a year on and off... some times i get them so painful i cant lift my arm... iv been to my local GP and he gave me a roll on cream called Dalacin T Topical Lotion that doesnt seem to be working... after watching tonights show it has got me very woried about the man that had the case of Hydradentitis Suppurativa.. do you think the lumps could turn into this?? is there anything to stop this from happeneing?





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