Kim Kardashian announces to the world that she suffers from the skin disorder psoriasis.
Most of the time when people take a good look at my hands, they ask, “What happened to you?” Sometimes, I get “Who did you get into a fight with?”
I’m not offended, though, because the knuckles of my hands—and elbows, knees, and other parts of my body—have red, inflamed patches of skin called psoriasis.
Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disorder where the body’s natural defense system hyperactively attacks healthy skin cells, leaving behind patches of red, flaky skin.
I developed psoriasis at a young age, which shaped the way I view myself. At times I’ve been very self-conscious about it. When I was 10, for example, a woman pulled her children out of the pool because of my psoriasis. Most of the time though, I don’t think about it because I’ve learned that if someone is going to judge me based on my looks, I don’t care about his or her opinion.
Let’s just say from a young age, psoriasis killed off any chance I had at becoming a hand model. Still, my condition is manageable and as I’ve been dealing with it for 20 years now, caring for my psoriasis is just part of my daily routine. It’s no big deal.
But if you’re a model, a psoriasis diagnosis is the last thing you want to hear. It turns out celebrity Kim Kardashian—who became famous for being someone’s friend and “leaking” a certain video to the masses—was recently diagnosed with the disease.
Sunday’s episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” showed Kardashian at her dermatologist’s office in disbelief at her diagnosis, and questioning her professional future.
“My career is doing ad campaigns and swimsuit photo shoots,” she said, as quoted on CNN’s website. “People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect. When I gain a pound, it’s in the headlines. Imagine what the tabloids would do to me if they saw all these spots.”
Psoriasis tends to run in families, and Kardashian is happy she has her mother, Kris Jenner, who also has psoriasis, to go to for advice.
While psoriasis may be troubling for someone whose career has been made on her looks, most cases of psoriasis are mild and can be contained with medication and other psoriasis treatments. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments available, including many home treatments that can soothe many symptoms.
Other female celebrities, such as singer LeAnn Rimes and 2006’s “America’s Next Top Model” winner CariDee English, also have psoriasis. Both have talked openly about the disease and have given advice to those looking to treat it.
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition, yet most people that have it aren’t under public scrutiny to look perfect. Then again, Kardashian is part of the system that puts unrealistic expectations on the public to groom themselves into perfection, so it’s possible the new addition to her life may change the way she views herself and what’s most important.
To learn more about psoriasis, check out Healthline’s Psoriasis Learning Center.