KKW gets real about the skin disease she's struggled with for the past six years—and educates us about the autoimmune disease in the process
Kim Kardashian has been open about her struggle with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin, ever since she was first diagnosed in 2010. Now, in a new blog post on her website, "Living with Psoriasis," she shares what it's like dealing with the skin disease on a daily basis.
As Kim (accurately) explains in her post, scientists believe that at least 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis. However, only two percent to three percent of the population actually develop the symptoms, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. ("BTW, thanks for this amazing disease, Mom!!!," Kim writes of Kris, who also has the condition.)
In total, approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and while there is no cure for psoriasis, as we previously reported, certain lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and staying out of the sun, can help reduce psoriasis flare-ups. (Kim says that she uses a topical cortisone every night before bed, and gets a cortisone shot every few years to help with the inflammation.) And, as Kim also explains, there are certain acidic foods, like tomatoes and eggplant, you should avoid to help prevent flare-ups.
"Still, 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," she says. Kim's right: Symptoms do vary between individuals. Generally, though, they are the following, according to the Mayo Clinic: Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales; dry, cracked skin that may bleed; itching, burning or soreness; thickened, pitted or ridged nails; swollen and stiff joints.
While for some psoriasis is just an annoying skin condition, for others it can be truly disabling, especially when associated with arthritis. Not to mention, it's been linked to other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, which is why treatment is so important.
"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," she says. "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?"
If you think you might have symptoms of psoriasis, check out Psoriasis.org for more info on treatment options (and to see photos of the five types of psoriasis) and be sure to see your doctor or a dermatologist.