15 Celebrities Who’ve Opened Up About Their Psoriasis
Celebrities are just like us. While they may have fancy cars, personal chefs, and fitness trainers, they can also have the same health conditions as the rest of all of us non-Hollywood types. Hearing that celebs are dealing with symptoms and situations similar to ours can sometimes help us remember we’re not alone. These 15 celebrities have psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis; you may relate to their stories.
Kim Kardashian West
Kim Kardashian West is one of the biggest stars on the planet, and she also lives with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. In an article on her sister Kourtney’s lifestyle website POOSH, Kardashian West told readers that she was 25 when she first began to see symptoms of the autoimmune disorder. She knew what it was almost immediately, because she’d seen her mom Kris Jenner’s symptoms.
She saw a dermatologist and after cortisone injections, she was able to keep her psoriasis at bay for years, until it reemerged in her 30s. “Although the spots are unpredictable, I can always count on my main spot on my lower right leg, which consistently stays flared up. I have learned to live with this spot without using any creams or medication—I just deal.” She goes on to say, “I hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel."
The 64-year-old matriarch of the Kardashian clan has said she’s had psoriasis outbreaks since about the age of 30, when she was reportedly diagnosed. Scientists say psoriasis is a genetic condition, so it’s likely Jenner passed it on to her daughter Kim. While Kris is said to have a milder form of the disease than her famous daughter, she was able to help diagnose Kim’s symptoms and encourage her to seek medical help.
Jonathan Van Ness
When Netflix decided to do a reboot of Queer Eye, the larger-than-life hairstylist Jonathan Van Ness was an easy casting choice. Van Ness let the proverbial cat out of the bag about his psoriasis with one powerful Instagram post showcasing his flare-up, with the caption: “Sickeningly Gorge, I left my psoriasis & my body unretouched, why should I dim my shine henny?" He subsequently told Allure it took five doctors and several misdiagnoses to finally diagnose his psoriasis.
Singer Cyndi Lauper has been perhaps one of the most vocal psoriasis sufferers. The “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” singer has talked very candidly about the disease to many media outlets since her diagnosis in 2010. She’s also partnered with the National Psoriasis Foundation on a campaign to raise awareness. In it, she says, “I'm not talking about it because I feel sorry for myself. I'm talking about it because no one talks about it. I didn't understand until I met people from the National Psoriasis Foundation, and they brought two other people who had suffered their whole life with it. And what they told me was really kind of moving, that nobody really talks about it and a lot of times you feel alone. I know I felt alone.”
TV funnyman and former SNL star Jon Lovitz thought he had a simple rash—until suddenly, that rash was covering more than half his body. In 2003, more than 75 percent of his body was covered in lesions. He told the National Psoriasis Foundation he was “horribly itchy, bleeding, cracking and flaking all over my knees, legs, hands, buttocks and even my head." Partnering with the “Are You Serious?” campaign allowed Lovitz to go public with his struggle 11 years after it began. He’s now managing his outbreaks with meds thanks to a “good dermatologist” and encourages others not to give up and to “find out what works best for you.”
The 30-year-old Grammy Award winner and “How Do I Live” singer wasn’t diagnosed as an adult, like many people are. Rimes has had psoriasis since she was a toddler. The singer has said that at one point, a flare-up covered about 80 percent of her body, and she was bullied at school because of it. She credits a good dermatologist and her husband Eddie Cibrian for helping her cope with the condition in adulthood. She’s partnered with the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation to encourage people to “Stop Hiding from Psoriasis.”
When you make a living off of your looks, like English supermodel Cara Delevingne, a psoriasis diagnosis can be downright devastating. She told a British newspaper that her grueling schedule and “stress” were likely the culprits, and when she began to show symptoms of it, “people would put on gloves and not want to touch me because they thought it was, like, leprosy or something.” Delevingne has since quit the modeling industry and forged her way on the big screen instead. “I am a lot harder than I was and I feel like all of that modeling, life, rejection, everything, was preparation for this, and now that I am [acting] I am the happiest person in the whole world.”
The 2006 America’s Next Top Model winner turned her plaques into profit. When the medication she was taking was discontinued, English was soon covered in scaly spots. Instead of hiding, the model bravely stepped in front of the lens per usual, but this time, it was to show off the flare-up. That reportedly led to a spokesperson deal with another drug she now uses to manage her psoriasis.
One half of the famous folk-pop duo Simon & Garfunkel, Art Garfunkel said the autoimmune disorder had him singing the blues. He opened up about his psoriasis struggles in his 2017 autobiography What Is It All But Luminous. In it, he says he’s soaked in Israel’s Dead Sea in hopes of alleviating his symptoms.
Few people have to show more skin on a daily basis than an Olympic swimmer. Gold medalist Dara Torres was gearing up for her third stint at the games when psoriasis reared its ugly head. Doctors told her stress and chlorine made it worse, which unfortunately were everyday factors in her line of work. Like many of the others, she took the proverbial PSA plunge, becoming an advocate for those with the condition. While she’d said she was “horribly embarrassed” at the onset of her psoriasis, she soon began swimming and competing, flare-ups and all. “As soon as I made that decision to stop caring, my whole life changed, and I started to feel like myself again. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t shy away from challenges; psoriasis is just another challenge in my life,” Torres has said.
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher has probably the most unique celebrity experience involving his psoriasis, telling a magazine in 2011 that fans at a concert attempted to “snort” his scalp flakes, mistaking them for cocaine.
Pro golfer Phil Mickelson was struck with sudden joint pain while prepping for a championship match in 2010—it turned out to be psoriatic arthritis. With the help of medication, the 49-year-old was back on the greens in no time, coming in fourth in that year’s U.S. Open. “Since then, I have been diligent about taking my treatment and have followed my rheumatologist's recommendations to improve my overall health to help me stay ‘on course’ both professionally and at home,” the golfer has said. “I've continued to play golf and have been able to keep doing fun things with my family, like playing catch or going for a swim or a hike. I feel good!”
What Not to Wear host Stacy London has built a career on helping others dress to play up their best features. And London understands all too well how important having a positive self-image truly is. The style guru has told media outlets that she started showing symptoms of psoriasis at age 4 and was bullied terribly throughout school because of it. In her book The Truth About Style, she shared how she covered up flare-ups with a uniform of turtlenecks and long pants, even on hot summer days. “Covering up did give me some feeling of control, but it wasn’t a comfort or a joy,” she wrote. She now uses her celebrity for good, raising awareness as a spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Actress Katie Lowes is perhaps best known for her work on the popular TV series Scandal. While the show may have catapulted her career, she also credits it with something else—triggering her psoriasis. Lowes told the National Psoriasis Foundation she was first diagnosed at age 28, but that the busy time in her career brought her symptoms to the forefront. “It was a happy time for me, because I was engaged and I got the role on Scandal, but that made it a stressful time, too. I broke out with red, scaly patches on the back of my neck.” Lowes says that a change in diet, and adding yoga, Pilates and “lots of deep breathing” helped make it manageable for her.
La La Anthony
Actress La La Anthony and her friend Kim Kardashian West have more in common than meets the eye—Anthony, too, suffers from the autoimmune condition. She first opened up about it in 2015, crediting baking soda as her saving grace in skincare. She told People that the common kitchen ingredient helps her exfoliate during her flare-ups. She also has since partnered with the National Psoriasis Foundation. “I like to tell myself that there's something empowering about knowing that you're not alone,” she told Everyday Health. “There are more than 7 million people in the United States who have psoriasis, so clearly none of us are alone in this. You have to control psoriasis, not vice versa.”