Home & Away star Kyle Shilling seemingly felt pushed to share a health diagnosis after being trolled by viewers.
Shilling, who plays Mali on the iconic soap opera, took to Instagram on Friday after being trolled over his appearance on social media.
After seeing him on-screen during a recent episode, some fans complained about Shilling’s facial hair.
One wrote: “I wish Mali would shave his beard line along his jaw rather than halfway up it, it’s all I can see whenever he’s on-screen. Very distracting.”
“Thanks, that’s all I’m gonna see now too,” another said.
In response, Shilling felt compelled to reply to the remarks and share that he has recently been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease.
“For all those Home and Away fans complaining about my beard line. Not too long ago I was diagnosed with alopecia on the beard region, mainly my neck,” wrote the actor on Instagram.
Health professionals are still baffled by what causes alopecia, with most experts believing it can occur from both genetic and environmental factors.
“Alopecia is a hair loss disease which can be caused by stress. The makeup team at Home and Away do the best they can do to cover up this ‘insecurity’ I now have. It should grow back eventually, but for now it is what it is,” he continued.
“It could be a lot worse,” he said. “I’m simply shedding light on alopecia so people have an understanding about it.”
Kyle joined the cast of Home and Away in early 2023 after landing the role of surfer, Mali Hudson. Mali arrived in Summer Bay as a friend of River Boy, Dean Thompson, and has since gone on to run the local surf board shop.
He’s become a favourite among fans of the show, and earlier this year was part of explosive scenes involving a bomb going off in the Bay.
Home and Away is on Monday to Thursday at 7pm on Channel 7 and 7plus.