I’m not a huge Kim Kardashian fan here and it’s been a good long while since I’ve kept up with anything the family is doing, but this morning I noticed that tons of people were talking about psoriasis and it piqued my interest because it’s a skin condition I struggle with too. Turns out, it was because Kim Kardashian posted a photo all over social today of her face covered in plaques of psoriasis. To say I was shocked is an understatement, here’s a celebrity whose entire brand is based on notions of conventional beauty and female “perfection” and she publicly posted a photo of a serious skin condition that tons of people have but no one really talks about. It was bad, any normal person would be freaked out if they woke up with patches like this all over their face. I felt for her.
There are lots of ways to deal with psoriasis, from watching your diet (eating lots of healthy fats and avoiding junk food) to phytotherapy and oral and intravenous meds — but unfortunately, no matter what, once you have psoriasis, it’s probably something you’ll be dealing with for the rest of your life. It’s a chronic disease. When it gets really bad (a flare up as it’s called) it can make you feel like you don’t even want to be seen in public. I’m lucky in that most of my psoriasis patches are actually on my scalp, so even though they’re super irritating and cause tons of itchy and that uncomfortable feeling of tight skin on my head, they aren’t super visible.
When I saw all the patches on Kim Kardashian’s face this morning, I felt terrible for her. I looked into it and realized that she’s got such a wicked case of the skin condition and has been pretty public about it for years. It made me gain some admiration for the openness and honesty she has displayed when it comes to her psoriasis. For celebrities who are scrutinized for every pound gained and every style faux pas, it must be even harder to feel ok to go outside with scaley patches covering your skin.
Psoriasis is defined a the excessive build-up of skin cells on the surface of your body. No one really knows what causes it but it’s thought to be an auto-immune disease that affects your T cells and white blood cells. It’s kind of crazy that we don’t talk about this condition more, considering approximately 7.5 million people (about 2% of the population) in the U.S. have it. It’s actually underdiagnosed in the Latinx population even though we tend to present with more severe types of the disease like pustular psoriasis. The truth is that psoriasis can have major effects on your mental state and can cause real embarrassment even though it’s thought of mostly as a superficial disease.
To avoid psoriasis, make sure you moisturize well, keep a handle on your stress levels, and eat as clean and healthy of a diet as possible. If you notice scaly, patchy sections of skin on your body, make sure to go to a doctor and get them checked out.