It was revealed on last night’s episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians that the red, blotchy rash on Kim’s legs is psoriasis-not ringworm, as was suggested by her sister Khloe.
Psoriasis is a chronic auto-immune disease that appears on the skin. Its cause is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component-Kris Kardashian also has Psoriasis. Although there isn’t a cure for it, the good news for Kim is that it’s treatable with a variety of topical creams, pills, and other therapies. Since Psoriasis flare-ups are often ignited by stress, the doctor recommended a “slower-paced life” for Kim, including plenty of sleep, a balanced diet and less traveling. However, according to the busy reality television star and Sketchers spokeswoman, a less stressful lifestyle is “just not possible” for her.
“My career is doing ad campaigns and swimsuit photo shoots,” she lamented on the show. “People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect.”
We hope that Kim takes this as an opportunity to bring some positive, supportive attention to the disease, which affects 7.5 million Americans. Maybe she should follow the lead of CariDee English, the 2006 winner of America’s Next Top Model, who has dealt with the chronic condition for almost her entire life. Last year, she documented her most intense flare-up and shared the photos with the public in order to raise awareness for Psoriasis, which often causes debilitating embarrassment and discomfort for those who suffer from it. Singer LeAnn Rimes has also been vocal about her own experience with Psoriasis.
The National Psoriasis Foundation has issued a statement about Kim’s diagnosis, noting that the non-contagious disease is often misdiagnosed as a rash or other skin irritation, such as eczema. However, it is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, and most commonly occurs on the scalp, knees, elbows, and infrequently on the face.
According to New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Eric Schweiger, Psoriasis flares during times of increased stress, so it’s important to manage stressers if you have a history of the disease. People can also have flares triggered by infection, such as an upper respiratory infection or trauma to the skin. Using moisturizer daily helps to protect the barrier of the skin, and a dermatologist can prescribe topical medications, such as cortisone creams, that are easy to apply and can help the flare-up heal quickly. In severe cases, injectable medications called biologics and lasers can help to prevent and treat flare-ups as well.
Below, you can check out footage of Kim’s dermatologist appointment from the episode that aired the other night on “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”