Kim Kardashian opened up about her struggles with the skin disease psoriasis on her app on August 31. Read her emotional personal essay and tips from a derm on how to treat psoriasis if you have it too!
Kim Kardashian wrote on her website KimKardashianWest.com:
“Since I was first diagnosed with psoriasis in 2010, I’ve been pretty open about my struggles with it. I have that one patch on my right leg that is the most visible. I don’t even really try to cover it that much anymore. Sometimes I just feel like it’s my big flaw and everyone knows about it, so why cover it?
There’s no cure that we know of right now, but there are certain foods you should avoid to help prevent flare-ups — acidic foods like tomatoes and eggplant, for instance. Everyone with psoriasis has different symptoms; sometimes the rashes are itchy, sometimes they’re flaky. Mine flares up from time to time for different reasons.”
Kim continued: “Current research shows that around 10 percent of the population has the genes that can lead to psoriasis. (BTW, thanks for this amazing disease, Mom!!!) However, only two to three percent of people actually develop the symptoms. Scientists are constantly researching and developing new medications to help treat it, but for now, I use a topical cortisone ointment every night before bed. I’m always hoping for a cure, of course, but in the meantime, I’m learning to just accept it as part of who I am.”
Kim also said that every few years, she gets a cortisone shot from a derm to combat the inflammation.
Joshua Zeichner, MD, the Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York told us more about the disease:
“Psoriasis is a condition in which your immune system is angry at and attacks your skin. Red, scaly patches develop most commonly on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can pop up anywhere on the body. In some cases, it can be very mild, with only a patch or two. In other cases, it can be severe, affecting 10% or even more of your skin’s surface area. It can be uncomfortable, itchy or painful and sometimes associated with joint aches. While it is not contagious, the appearance can be a source of significant anxiety or even depression. Psoriasis on exposed skin areas definitely affects clothing choices and can interfere with interpersonal relationships. Attempts can be made to cosmetically cover plaques with makeup, but that may be challenging.”
Dr. Zeichner adds, “For localized psoriasis, topical cortisone creams can help reduce inflammation. You need to limit use because extended application may result in skin thinning. Other topicals include vitamin D creams, salicylic acid, and topical retinoids. One new topical cortisone cream with a great safety profile is called Sernivo Spray. For more severe psoriasis systemic medications may be needed to help reduce skin inflammation from the inside out. These medications include a pill called Otezla, or injections like Humira, Enbrel, Stelara, Cosentyx, or Taltz. Finally, there are some light and laser treatments that are time-consuming, but safe and effective.”
If you or someone you know has psoriasis, don’t lose hope. “If you have psoriasis it is important to visit a board certified dermatologist for evaluation and a customized treatment. While there is no cure, we can help clear the skin.”
HollywoodLifers, do you have psoriasis? Do you think it’s cool Kim Kardashian’s so open with her psoriasis diagnosis?