Twenty-one-year-old glamour model Holly Kent meets 27-year-old Nelly Shaheen.

Nelly was born with harlequin ichthyosis, a rare skin condition, which makes Nelly look like a burns victim. Nelly’s skin could literally suffocate her if she doesn’t take care of it. She is the oldest known survivor in the UK with the condition.

Holly believes her image is her bread and butter and is proud of her career as a glamour model posing for lads magazines. She takes Nelly to visit strip clubs, where she auditions as a pole dancer.

Then it’s Nelly’s turn to try and convince Holly that the job she does and the image she projects is fake and will never make her truly happy…

Another form of ichthyosis was also recently featured in a television documentary. The Boy They Call Fish part of Channel 5’s Extraordinary People series was shown on 21st June but can be viewed at




This is the talkhealth blog spot, where we post on a wide range of health conditions, topics, issues and concerns. We post when we see something that we believe is of interest to our visitors. Our posts do not reflect any particular view or standpoint of talkhealth, but are merely to raise attention and awareness.

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