Basketball Star Tans to Fight Skin Condition

A New Jersey basketball player is battling a rare skin disease. Josh Borelli, a senior at Shawnee High School, woke up one day with red lesions all over his body. To treat the disorder doctors told Borelli to hit the tanning bed everyday.

A rare disorder

Tanning helps student fight skin condition.
Tanning helps student fight skin condition.

Borelli was diagnosed with Mucha-Habermann, a rare skin disorder.

“This disease is so rare that most dermatologists don’t see it in their entire practice,” Dr. Doris Day, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University Medical, who does not treat Borrelli, told ABC News.  ”It’s something that we read about but don’t see.”

According to WebMD, the disorder typically affects children. In most cases, children outgrow the condition. For Borelli, the symptoms started in eighth grade. The condition cleared up only to reappear his senior year.

“One day I woke up in the eighth grade and I had red lesions all over my body so I went to the doctors,” he told ABC News.  “It was the first or second case he’s seen in his 40 year practice.”

An interesting treatment

Borelli takes medication and also spends eight minutes a day in a tanning bed to help keep the lesions at bay.

“My dad went with me the first couple of times to the tanning salon because I was a bit nervous,” Borelli told ABC News.

Despite battling this rare condition, Borelli hasn’t let it affect his athletic ability. He’s one of the school’s top scorers, averaging 20 points a game. He’s just two points away from hitting 1,000 total points.

 Mucha-Habermann is one of the rarest skin conditions.
Mucha-Habermann is one of the rarest skin conditions.

Borelli says his condition helped his outlook on life as he works to stay positive on and off the court.

“If anything it’s probably helped,” Borrelli said.  “There’s people out there worse off than I am so I’m real lucky.”

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