Home and Away star reveals secret diagnosis after viewers complain about appearance

Home and Away actor Kyle Shilling has opened up on a recent health diagnosis after viewers complained about his appearance in a recent episode.

Shilling, who plays Mali Hudson on the popular Seven drama, took to Instagram on Friday to address the complaints, which were about his facial hair.

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“I wish Mali would shave his beard line along his jaw rather than halfway up it,” one fan grumbled on social media.

“It’s all I can see whenever he’s on screen.

“Very distracting.”

“Thanks, that’s all I’m gonna see now too,” wrote another.

That prompted Shilling to post a long message in his Instagram stories.

“For all those Home and Away fans complaining about my beard line,” he wrote.

“Not too long ago I was diagnosed with alopecia on the beard region, mainly my neck.

“Alopecia is a hair loss disease which can be caused by stress.

Kyle Shilling plays Mali Hudson. Credit: Jeremy Greive/Seven

“The makeup team and Home and Away do the best they can to help cover this ‘insecurity’ I now have.

“It should grow back eventually, but for now it is what it is.”

He added: “I’m not asking for sympathy, as it could be a lot worse.

“I’m simply shedding light on alopecia so people have an understanding about it.

“Thanks fam.”

Kyle Shilling reveals he has alopecia. Credit: Instagram/Kyle Shilling

Alopecia is the hair loss condition thrust into the spotlight by Jada Pinkett Smith when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about her shaved head at the 2022 Oscars, prompting Will Smith to storm on stage and slap him across the face.

Another actor to reveal they had alopecia in recent times was Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher, who took to Instagram to explain why his character Karl Kennedy’s appearance had changed.

“I lost every single hair on my face and head, as the last episode of Neighbours showed,” he explained to The Morning Show earlier this year.

Alan Fletcher when he had lost all his hair (inset) and with his new regrowth. Credit: TMS

“I even lost my eyebrows and eyelashes, which was pretty freaky, I have to say.

“Being an older bloke, I dealt with it. But a lot of younger people suffer very badly … They can be terribly hounded for it by their peers.

“But mercifully, with some very innovative treatments which help to suppress the immune system, my hair is coming back.”

Home and Away favourite

As for Shilling, he has quickly become a Home and Away fan favourite since joining the show earlier this year.

Announcing his casting in December 2022, he said he was “stoked” to be joining the beloved show.

Kyle Shilling joined the Home and Away cast early in 2023. Credit: Instagram

“It’s official ladies and gentlemen,” he wrote on Instagram.

“Stoked to be a part of the amazing family/team of @homeandaway.

“It’s been nothing but an absolute privilege to work with everyone involved.

“Can’t wait for you all to see the story of ‘Mali Hudson’.

“Big thank you to everyone who has continued to support me.”

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