Famous People with Psoriasis
August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, initiated by the National Psoriasis Foundation to raise awareness about the condition and promote research. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which skin cells grow too rapidly, and because the body can’t shed the excess cells quick enough, lesions form on the skin’s surface.
Both Kim Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, are affected by the disease. On her reality show, “Keeping up with Kardashians”, Kim’s red flaky patches covered her legs. “People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect,” Kardashian has said. “When I gain a pound, it’s in the headlines. Imagine what the tabloids would do to me if they saw all these spots?” Jenner was diagnosed at age 30, proving that the disease can sometimes be hereditary.
Art Garfunkel, half of the 70’s singing sensation (with Paul Simon), has also been diagnosed with psoriasis, and has used a natural method of treatment. Garfunkel has turned to the Dead Sea to ease his outbreaks. Garfunkel said on his website: “I’ve been told that if you float in that salty, buoyant water, it’s very good for the skin. I found it not so much therapeutic as beautiful.”
Another singer, LeAnn Rimes, has become a spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation after suffering from the skin disease since she was a toddler. Rimes has managed her disease by keeping her stress levels low and trying to relax.
Writer John Updike has also suffered from the disease, and has chronicled his battle in a chapter titled “At War With My Skin”, in his book “Self Consciousness”. Like Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, John Updike and his mother were diagnosed.
Even Beaver Cleaver wasn’t immune to the disease, as actor Jerry Mathers, known for his role in the sitcom Leave it to Beaver, has also been diagnosed with the skin condition. In USA Today Mathers confessed: “My psoriasis isn’t that severe, but it has been a source of embarrassment.”
Red, flaky, skin lesions aren’t considered a fashion statement, yet two of the fashion industry’s biggest celebrities also have the skin disease. CariDee English, winner of cycle 7 of America’s Next Top Model in 2006, inherited the disease from her mother, like many of the other celebrity sufferers.
After dealing with the disease since she was five years old, English joined Rimes as a spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation, and bravely posed with a flare up for the campaign in 2010.
Stacy London, cohost of What Not to Wear, is another fashion leader who struggles with the condition.
London prefers to take a humorous approach to her disease, using laughter as a coping mechanism. London has also joined the others as a spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation.
In August, join these celebrities and raise awareness for the autoimmune disease that affects so many Americans.