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Kim Kardashian opens up about managing psoriasis on Instagram
Here’s what a health expert had to say.
Amid a recent flare-up, Kim Kardashian has been posting on social media about her struggles with psoriasis. She’s been transparent about the skin condition for years, as BuzzFeed noted, but now she’s sharing remedies and photos of her skin.
The posts started coming more frequently after the Daily Mail tweeted earlier this month, “Make-up mogul Kim Kardashian suffers bad skin day ahead of Master Class beauty seminar.” Kim responded with, “It’s psoriasis all over my face” and a tear-drop emoji.
It’s psoriasis all over my face. 😢 https://t.co/E94lI7mfDG— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 5, 2019
Psoriasis is a skin condition where skin cells build up much faster than average, causing the formation of thick, red, itchy, and flaky patches, according to health website Psoriasis Speaks. Kardashian is certainly not suffering alone, as millions of people have the skin condition.
“It is very common, and the severity varies person to person” Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with Virginia-based Allergy & Asthma Network, told the Daily Dot. “There are certain things that could make autoimmune diseases worse like stress or if you’re feeling under the weather, fatigue or lack of sleep-those things are very common triggers.”
After Kardashian shared photos on her Instagram Story showing her patchy skin, many online applauded her honesty and thanked her for helping to normalize the condition.
“I know people are probably gonna pull the ‘wow, you’re so brave’ card but it truly is a bold move to break the stigma behind celebs being ‘perfect,'” Twitter user @Kloemoney98 wrote. “We all got flaws and we just gotta embrace.”
@KimKardashian thank you for showing your psoriasis and being so open about it! I know people are probably gonna pull the ‘wow, you’re so brave 🙄’ card but it truly is a bold move to break the stigma behind celebs being ‘perfect’. We all got flaws and we just gotta embrace 💗— Chloe (@Khlomoney98) February 11, 2019
Why people develop psoriasis is still a mystery to medical professionals. Unfortunately, the condition cannot be cured, but with attention and care it can be managed. Over the past week, Kardashian has been documenting the wellness tricks she uses—everything from Chinese tea to light rooms.
“I am super desperate with my psoriasis, so I went to a Chinese herbalist. I have my own mixture, I have to drink it twice a day and it is so nasty. Hopefully this works. We’ll see in six weeks,” Kim posted on Instagram along with a video of the drink.
She then posted a photo of a blueberry detox smoothie with the caption, “I’m really trying it all!!!” and a photo of a light room that said, “My new best friend #psoriasis.” People responded by offering their own remedy suggestions, form organic fish oil supplements to sativa hemp seed oil.
@KimKardashian I promise this stuff is magic for @#psoriasis! We’re the same age and mine had gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. This stuff from AliExpress is amazing! Takes a few weeks to get so I order 10 tubes at a time. It’s life changing! pic.twitter.com/yG1icIo8Ox— Kim (@kimwheels) February 12, 2019
“Unfortunately with the teas or the detoxing, people may have stories or anecdotes, and there’s no proof that they actually work or it’s just a coincidence,” Parikh said. “The most important thing is that you have the correct diagnosis and you’re on the right medication.”
Parikh also said there are medications that you can ingest and ointments to apply on the skin, but which kinds of treatments work varies from person to person. She also said eating clean is a good general rule since junk and processed foods can increase inflammation in the body.
Ultimately, Parikh encourages those suffering from psoriasis to go see a board-certified dermatologist or rheumatologist. “It’s important to follow up with someone who specializes in this illness because they will know all the cutting edge things and what medications are most appropriate for you,” she said.
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.