Tonight on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim was diagnosed with psoriasis. While not quite as frightening as the ringwormKhloe suspected it was, the disease is one that, understandably hit Kim hard.
Kim has become the latest celebrity to be diagnosed with psoriasis, a skin condition that can cause red or pink splotches of skin to form on the body.
A few days ago the reality show star was photographed with some strange red marks on her legs, making some bloggers wonder what the bug bite-like blotches could be. Luckily those concerned about the condition of Kim’s perfect skin didn’t have to wait long for the answer — apparently she was well aware of the problem and went to the doctor to get a diagnosis (a girl who has the hair removed off of almost every inch of her body isn’t going to let some strange red splotches go unnoticed).
Kris Jenner also suffers from psoriasis, which isn’t surprising since the disease can be hereditary. However, Kim said her mother never had to deal with the same “red flaky dots” that have popped up all over her skin, and she seems somewhat devastated by the diagnosis. The beautiful brunette said of the skin disease’s affect on her image, “People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect. When I gain a pound, it’s in the headlines, so imagine what the tabloids will do to me when they see all these spots.”
But while the condition isn’t curable, it is treatable, and Kim is not alone — there are quite a few other celebs like herself who suffer from psoriasis.
LeAnn Rimes has talked at length about her battle with the skin condition. Unlike Kim, she’s had years to learn to cope with her psoriasis, having had the disease since she was two.
Once she finally got it under control by finding the right dermatologist and a treatment that works for her, she quit hiding and decided to speak out about the embarrassing skin condition, becoming involved in the “Stop Hiding and Start Living” campaign for the National Psoriasis Foundation. LeAnn now encourages undiagnosed people to seek treatment for skin problems that could possibly be psoriasis, and she tries to raise awareness of the dangers of the disease — it has been linked to other serious medical conditions like diabetes, depression, and heart disease.
LeAnn has also said managing her stress is an important part of keeping the condition under control, which might be why Kim recently had a flare-up — planning a wedding is usually extremely stressful, and it’s hard to imagine the pressure to make it perfect that’s on someone like Kim.
Kim might also worry about covering up her flare-ups with the right clothes, but she’s not alone when it comes to battling the skin condition while trying to look fashionable — “What Not to Wear” host Stacy London also has admitted to suffering from psoriasis. Stacy was diagnosed at age 4, but she says that used humor to help her cope with the disease — as well as being critical. Stacy stated of its effect on her personality, “I really tried to be funny. I think that’s what made me constructively critical of other people. I know what’s cruel and what isn’t, and I am very, very clear about that line. And there were people who could laugh with me and make fun of having a disorder with me, that I loved because I got it. I got the fact that they were accepting of me even when they were joking with me, and that’s different then somebody being cruel.” (Sounds like it had a big part to play in London landing her “What Not to Wear” gig!) The savvy stylist is now involved with the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Psoriatic Arthritis Total approach to Health (PATH) program, which offers support to those suffering from psoriasis.
“America’s Next Top Model” contestant CariDee English also suffered from the skin condition, but went on to win the competition in 2006. She was diagnosed with the psoriasis at age 5, and says her mother knew right away what the red spots on her skin meant after they first popped up because she had also suffered from the disease. CariDee’s modeling career was almost ruined by her psoriasis, but with the right treatments she was able to keep it under control enough to become a successful model and a spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation (she even did a paid photo shoot for a psoriasis drug displaying a bad flare-up of her skin plaques).
So while looks-obsessed Kim might find her skin condition devastating, she could use her diagnosis to do something constructive like the other celebrities above by getting involved with organizations that try to help those suffering from psoriasis feel better in their own skin. And who knows? She might end up feeling a little better living in her own in the process.