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What Is Psoriasis? 5 Things To Know About The Skin Condition Kim Kardashian West Suffers From

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What is Psoriasis? 5 Things To Know About The Skin Condition Kim Kardashian West Has

Celebrities in the spotlight are constantly scrutinized for their appearance. Their makeup, skincare, and clothing are studied and nit-picked by fans and critics alike. Sometimes an online critical comment about a celeb turns out to be something more than a simple fashion faux pas.

Kim Kardashian West was recently spotted having lunch with her sister, Kourtney Kardashian, along with Kourtney’s ex, Scott Disick, in L.A. The reality star was dressed wearing a black jacket, black turtleneck, and dark sunglasses. Her hair was parted in the middle and tightly pulled back into a low pony-tail. But KK also appeared to have some sort of breakout.

Daily Mail Celebrity quickly jumped onto Twitter and said, “Make-up mogul Kim Kardashian suffers bad skin day ahead of Master Class beauty seminar.” She responded to their tweet by saying: "It’s psoriasis all over my face,” accompanied with a crying emoji. Kim was diagnosed by a dermatologist on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in 2011.

So what is psoriasis? Here are five things to know about Kim K's skin condition. 

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1. It's an autoimmune condition.

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition and skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. Skin builds up into small and bumpy red patches covered with white scales. What happens with psoriasis is that the skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical cycle of a skin cell is one month.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, around 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. If one of your parents has psoriasis, you have about a 10% chance of getting it. If both of your parents have psoriasis, your risk is 50%. 

“I got it for the first time at the DASH store opening in New York,” Kim shared back in 2016 about the first time she experienced the condition. “I wore this all-sequin dress and I started getting really itchy; I thought it was just a rash caused by the fabric, but then the rash was COVERING my legs and my mom [Kris Jenner] was like, ‘I think you have psoriasis!!!’”

Kardashian West added: “[Jenner] has it too, and it’s hereditary, so she spotted the symptoms immediately.”


Kinda missing blonde hair

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Feb 13, 2019 at 8:32am PST

2. It can happen anywhere on your body. 

Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the skin, usually on the hands, feet, neck, scalp and face. For most people, psoriasis affects just a few areas; it can be as small as a few flakes on the scalp or elbow, for example.

But for people with more severe cases, it can cover large parts of the body. The patches can heal and then come back throughout a person's life.

3. There are tons of symptoms.

The signs and symptoms of psoriasis are varied and depend on the type you have. The most common symptoms are:

  • Patches of red, raised, inflamed skin, typically covered with silver-colored scales or plaques on the red patches
  • Dry, itchy, painful skin that can crack or bleed.
  • Soreness, itching and burning around patches
  • Problems with your fingernails and toenails 
  • Scaly plaques on the scalp.

Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which causes achy, swollen joints. Between 10% and 30% of people with psoriasis also suffer from this condition.

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4. Thankfully, there are many treatment options.

While psoriasis is incurable, there are many treatments that can help the flare-ups.

The most common treatment is a topical steroid cream rubbed into the skin to help decrease inflammation, relieve itching, and block the production of cells that are overproduced. Some doctors recommend salicylic acid ointment which helps the skin to shed. Prescription retinoids which have a synthetic form of vitamin A can help improve psoriasis as well. However both salicylic acid and retinoids can dry the skin, so you must be careful when using.

Regular doses of sunlight can help psoriasis in many people. For persistent, difficult-to-treat cases of psoriasis, many doctors recommend light therapy. Some doctors prescribe Ultraviolet B light (UVB) light therapy using a light box alone.

When other treatments fail, some doctors prescribe oral or injectable drugs to treat psoriasis. Some of these medications affect the immune system.

5. And there are ways to prevent flare-ups.

Medicines work best, but you can do things to treat your psoriasis without a prescription. Here are some things you can do at home to help with psoriasis flare-ups.

Before you go to bed, wrap your skin with a bandage or plastic wrap. In the morning, wash the area gently. Over time, this can help with scaling.

Take shorter showers as water can strip your skin of natural oils. Also, make sure the water is not too hot as hot water can dry out the skin. Right after your bath or shower, pat (not rub) your skin dry with your towel, and immediately apply a high-quality body cream to seal in the moisture. Ask a dermatologist to recommend a suitable product. If your doctor prescribes creams or ointments, be sure to use them as instructed.

Smoking and alcohol use can trigger psoriasis flare-ups so it’s a good idea to quick smoking for good, and cut back on drinking. Kicking the habit is one of the best things you can do for your skin.

High-stress levels can also trigger a flare-up. Exercise, do yoga and/or mediation to help you manage your stress levels. Also be sure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet, and avoid foods that may trigger a flare-up as well.

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Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year: Because Moms Need a Little TLC, Too!” available at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble and publisher of amotherworld.com, a lifestyle blog for women.  

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