Psoriasis was the embarrassing secret I tried my best to conceal with clothes and mistruths for the first 20 years of my life. Most times, without my permission, the galling inflamed spots of dry skin tended to introduce themselves to those who didn’t have a warm welcome to provide. Bed bug bites, ugly, contagious, chicken pox, or simply “eww” were typically the greetings I received when my skin decided to escape the confines of a long sleeve shirt or when it decided to mosey its way to a place I couldn’t hide, like my face. If it wasn’t a jacket or pants I was using to cover up the rambunctious spots, it was the lies I told, claiming I had an allergic reaction to something; anything to get myself out of the ‘limelight’ when I was questioned about the mystery spots.
When I was first diagnosed with this condition in the early 90’s no one was talking about it. Fast forward into the 21st century and now I can name at least 17 celebrities who have opened up on battling the disease. Unfortunately, although psoriasis has seemed to become a media buzz word, in my opinion, this attention has shed little light on the actual effects of this disease.
One of the most recent reveals is Kim Kardashian West. During her show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” she complained of a mystery rash that encroached upon her leg. She went to visit the dermatologist who explained that her unidentified spots were psoriasis. She rolled up her pants to reveal the plaques, and upon her legs were four small red spots of psoriasis. Although for a short moment her reveal got the world talking about psoriasis, it did so in a misleading way. The episode kind of angled the condition as if it were a simple cosmetic issue, which is a misconception those of us in the psoriasis world are continuously combating. I looked at Kim’s spots with a sort of jealousy, wishing my 90% covered body only had four spots of psoriasis. To me, four spots of psoriasis is a perfect day.
There are few celebrities who give a full picture of what it’s like to live with the disease. If you Google, “Pictures of celebrities showing psoriasis,” you will see maybe 3 different celebrities who have pictures of them actually showing their spots, and many of them only have mild forms of the disease. In 2007, one of the first soon-to-be celebrities I heard mention it on national TV was CariDee English from America’s Next Top Model. At the time of the show she didn’t have any active spots, but briefly mentioned she battled with the condition and was using effective treatment. She ended up winning the competition, but later had a terrible flare-up which affected around 80% of her body. The top model winner has done photoshoots showing off her spots with pride and is very vocal on how the disease affects her life. Another model who flaunts the disease without shame is Cara Delevingne. In 2013 she was found strutting down the runway for the Versace fashion show during Milan Fashion Week, showing a beautiful red gown with spots on her legs to match, the moment briefly placing psoriasis at the forefront once again.
Most of the celebrities I follow don’t have severe cases of the condition. However, for some a mild case of psoriasis is just as traumatizing as someone who is 90% covered; it just depends on the person’s mental and emotional health and how they view beauty. How do you feel about celebs who reveal they have psoriasis? Can you relate?
I’m sharing my personal skin condition story, thoughts, and feelings in partnership with Promius Pharma as a paid spokesperson. The story, thoughts, and opinions above are expressly my own. Promius Pharma is not responsible for any other content on this site.
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