Psoriasis is one of life's painful conditions that can affect anyone, regardless of class, race, wealth, or nationality. It does not discriminate. From your average Jo to an A-list celebrity, psoriasis can hit anyone at any time. While psoriasis is still a largely unknown and misunderstood condition, an increasing number of people are speaking out about their suffering and how they deal with it, especially famous people. After all, just because you have enough money to afford a small country doesn't mean you are exempt from life's problems.
What Is Psoriasis?
According to Mayo Clinic, psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes scaly patches of red, itchy skin on the body. It is most common in places such as:
- Soles of feet
- Lower back
Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, and there is no way to predict a flare-up. Flare-ups can last from weeks to months. Not only that, but it can be anything from a few dry and flaky scales to a full-blown breakout that covers most of the body. It all depends on the type of psoriasis. The flare-up may calm down or even go into remission, but psoriasis is a lifelong condition.
10 Celebrities With Psoriasis
While you may think rich and famous people are free from disappointment and misfortune, this is definitely not the case, as can be seen from these ten stars who suffer from psoriasis.
1. Kim Kardashian West
Kim K may seem to be the envy of many, but even she has problems – the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star has been suffering from psoriasis since she was 25. Kim's psoriasis usually appears on her legs when she has a flare-up, spreading to the rest of her body.
However, instead of hiding from the world, Kim has been very vocal about her condition, going so far as to discuss it in an episode in 2011. “I have psoriasis, there is nothing I can do about it so there is no reason why I should feel uncomfortable,” she said.
“So to make myself feel better I lay out all my insecurities before we start a shoot in the hope that no one will be focused on that. I just want to do fun and artsy things.”
Her mom, Kris Jenner, also suffers from the condition, and passed it down to Kim. While many people get psoriasis even if they don't have a family history, sufferers can pass it down genetically.
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2. Cyndi Lauper
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” singer Cyndi Lauper discovered she had psoriasis in 2010. Hers got so bad that it eventually affected her singing voice, and she had to stop singing for a while. The singer got depressed after treatments kept failing, and she had to stop singing, but she has since accepted her condition and learned to live with it. Since then, Cyndi has been open about her situation and worked with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Novartis to spread information and help other sufferers.
3. Kris Jenner
Like her daughter Kim Kardashian, momager Kris Jenner also has psoriasis. She was diagnosed after turning 30 and, to this day, battles with flare-ups throughout her body. However, she says light therapy and medication have helped her live with it.
4. Cara Delevingne
While she may seem flawless, model/actress Cara Delevingne has had a tough time keeping up appearances in the industry. She says the stress from modelling is what led to her first flare-up. Cara spoke out about her tough time and how others treated her during flare-ups. Nobody wanted to touch her at runway shows, and people backstage would wear gloves while slathering foundation all over her body to cover her psoriasis. She says she was treated like a leper, even though psoriasis isn't contagious. Cara confessed this is the reason why she is concentrating more on acting than her modelling career.
5. Stassi Schroeder
“Vanderpump Rules” star, Stassi Schroeder, is another celebrity who has been candid about her diagnosis. She spoke out about it in an essay in 2018, detailing her experience with psoriasis, and advised anyone dealing with the condition to let go of their anxiety and accept themselves as they are. “The advice I would give to anyone who has psoriasis is to let go of any anxiety about it because there's nothing you can do,” she wrote.
“If you stress about it, it's only going to make it worse because it's brought on by stress a lot of the time. And what's the point? You're just going to be miserable.”
Stassi also regularly posts makeup-free selfies with advice on how to deal with psoriasis.
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6. LeAnn Rimes
Grammy award-winning singer LeAnn Rimes is another sufferer working hard to help others who also have psoriasis after being diagnosed at the tender age of 2. While living with psoriasis as a child was tough, once she was in the limelight, it became increasingly difficult to hide it. It took her years to accept her condition, yet in 2009 it finally happened. LeAnn became the face of the campaign Stop Hiding From Psoriasis to raise awareness for the disease and encourage people to live without the shame she once had.
7. Stacy London
“What Not to Wear” star Stacy London was also really young when she was diagnosed with psoriasis at 4. Unfortunately, it got worse with age, and Stacy was relentlessly bullied as a child because of her skin condition. Thankfully, she found a way to overcome her suffering when she discovered her love for fashion and used breathable clothing to alleviate her symptoms. Thanks to the hit show, Stacy became a household name, and the style guru no longer feels like a “monster”, as she once admitted to feeling. Instead, she is now open about her condition in the hopes to help others. Wonder where the bullies are now?
8. Jonathan Van Ness
Everyone's favourite “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness says he had his first flare-up at 23, but had no idea what it was. His doctor thought it was an infection and put him on a long course of antibiotics. In 2018, he had another flare-up when he was doing a photoshoot for the show, but he knew what it was this time. While most celebrities would cancel the shoot or edit it out of the picture, Jonathan decided to leave the photo unretouched. He was tired of explaining what it was and thought it would help others if more people knew about the condition.
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9. Liam Gallagher
Former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher recently opened up on Twitter about his struggle with psoriasis during lockdown. He revealed the flare-up was so bad he had to resort to wearing gloves around the house. Previously, Liam recalled a funny story about his psoriasis. The singer says he had a flare-up at Glastonbury festival one year that was so bad that fans mistook the flakes for drugs.
10. La La Anthony
Actress La La Anthony admitted that she hid her psoriasis by covering up with clothes and hats for a long time. Today, however, the star is outspoken about her condition and advocates for the National Psoriasis Foundation. La La urges sufferers not to hide away or be ashamed like she once was, but to go out and live life to the fullest no matter what condition you have.
Different Types of Psoriasis
Unfortunately, there's not a “one size fits all” form of psoriasis, but a list of different types:
- Plaque Psoriasis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Nail Psoriasis
- Inverse Psoriasis
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis
- Guttate Psoriasis
- Pustular Psoriasis
This form of psoriasis is bumpy, red patches of skin with a white/silvery layer of dead skin cells on top, known as “scales.” These are usually painful and itchy, and can be found anywhere on the body.
Some symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
- Swollen, stiff joints
- Patches of painful and itchy red skin covered with white/silvery scales
- Cracked, bleeding skin
- Pitted nails
You've probably heard of arthritis, but have you heard of psoriatic arthritis? Psoriatic arthritis affects people who have psoriasis and is a long-term condition. This can be a severe form, as it affects the joints and can lead to permanent joint damage if not detected and treated in its early stages. This could mean surgery. On the other hand, the trajectory can be slowed if treated early, and joint damage can even be avoided in some cases.
Symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:
- Swollen, stiff joints
- Pitted nails
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Rib pain
- Scaly patches of skin
- Eye pain
Nail psoriasis is when the condition causes your nails to change, becoming yellow, forming tiny holes or even changing shape and getting thicker. Unfortunately, what makes this unsightly form even worse is that it is painful. Luckily, though, nail psoriasis is easily treated, and even its appearance can be improved cosmetically.
Symptoms of nail psoriasis include:
- Thickening of nails
- Discolouration of nails
- Nails change shape (forming tiny holes, ridges, or grooves)
- Nails lifting
- Pain and tender nail beds
- Crumbling nails
- Small black lines in nails from tip to cuticle
Inverse (intertriginous) psoriasis are sores that form in the body's folds, such as the groin, armpits, genitals and underneath breasts. This form is different to other forms of psoriasis, as instead of bumpy flaky skin, it is smooth patches of red and itchy sores. People with inverse psoriasis typically have psoriasis elsewhere on their bodies.
Symptoms of inverse psoriasis:
- Smooth lesions in skin folds
- Cracked skin in skin folds
This is an extreme form of psoriasis and affects a small percentage of people that usually already have bad plaque psoriasis or the rare Von Zumbusch psoriasis. Erythrodermic psoriasis takes the form of inflamed pus-filled sores that spread quickly and cover most of the body like a rash. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, it can be treated with topical treatments such as steroid creams or wet dressings or, if needed, hospitalisation.
If you see symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis or expect you have it, contact your doctor immediately to ensure no life-threatening complications occur. Symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Intense pain
- Intense itching
- Joint pain
- Red, sunburnt looking skin covering the body
- Severe skin shedding
- Pus-filled bumps/blisters
This type of psoriasis affects younger people, from children to young adults. It is a very rare kind, usually caused by bacterial infections. Guttate psoriasis takes the form of small patches of red and flaky skin, usually in the shape of a teardrop. You can have several flare-ups; however, it can also go away and be a one-time thing. If you continue having breakouts of this form of psoriasis, your doctor can help you decide on a treatment for your symptoms.
Symptoms of guttate psoriasis:
- Small bumps that can be red, flaky, or itchy
- Patches are in the shape of a teardrop
Pustular Psoriasis is a form of psoriasis usually found in adults, but it can be hereditary. It is small pus-filled bumps on red, blotchy skin. While it may look contagious, it isn't. The pustules are typically painful and itchy, and can even be flaky. There are different types of pustular psoriasis, namely:
- Von Zumbusch Psoriasis: Forms throughout the body
- Acropustulosis: Forms on tips of fingers and toes
- Palmoplantar Pustulosis (PPP): Forms on areas such as palms and soles of feet
Von Zumbusch psoriasis can be very dangerous. Seek medical attention if you suspect you have any of the symptoms. This is a severe type of psoriasis and can even lead to death if complications develop. It appears suddenly, with red, painful skin spreading over the body. Small pustules appear after a few hours and develop into blisters. The blisters tend to disappear within the next 48 hours, usually leaving the skin itchy and peeling.
While all of this may seem tolerable, the real danger with Von Zumbusch psoriasis is the severe dehydration that can occur, leading to organ failure and even death.
Some symptoms of Von Zumbusch psoriasis include:
- Extreme thirst
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
Treatments for psoriasis
There may not be a “cure-all” for psoriasis, but there are many treatments you can try to keep it under control. Treatments vary depending on type and severity.
The most popular types of treatment include:
- Light therapy
- Topical therapy
Alternative treatments could be the answer for people who don't want to subject their bodies to harsh medications and therapy or simply wish to try something different. However, remember to discuss things with your doctor before deciding on one.
Many sufferers claim that their psoriasis has been treated by using natural treatments such as aloe vera and apple cider vinegar. Especially popular is CBD, such as Poko's Soothing Serum, which is said to help many of the symptoms associated with such conditions.
Keep in mind that more studies are needed to prove whether alternative treatment methods such as CBD really help conditions such as psoriasis. So far, most evidence is anecdotal, although there are studies that look promising.
Psoriasis can be a real pain emotionally, mentally AND physically, but it doesn't need to get you down. There are so many options available to you, and you don't need to be ashamed of your condition. Just look at all the gorgeous, successful superstars who also have it! Accept yourself as you are and see your doctor to discover what treatment could work for you. You never know what can help until you try.