Kim Kardashian West has been battling a psoriasis flare-up on her face for the past week, and she’s down to try any treatment to fight the blemishes. The Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star, 38, gave fans a candid look at what she’s trying behind-the-scenes to heal her skin. On Monday morning, Kardashian West posted a selfie from bed on her Instagram Story with a dark colored herbal ointment dotted on the areas with the psoriasis flare-ups, including her under-eye region, cheek, forehead and chin. “Psoriasis is the shits!” the star said as she got real in the caption of her photo. Kardashian West got very honest about how bad the flare-up has gotten by posting a photo of her legs covered in the patchy red rash, which she captioned “sexy.” The star appears to be trying light therapy to help her skin, which she calls her “new best friend” in a photo posted of the large full-body device. In November 2017, the star had told PEOPLE that she was “using this light therapy and my psoriasis is like 60 percent gone.” Kardashian West has even been willing to whip up different concoctions that will hopefully soothe her skin.“I’m really trying it all!!! Blueberry Detox Smoothie @medicalmedium,” the star wrote on a photo of the drink she made. Despite the psoriasis flare-up, Kardashian West still appeared makeup-free at her longtime makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic’s Master Class as he showed over 1,6000 aspiring makeup artists and fans his techniques on the reality star herself. Although Kardashian West was barefaced for much of the class (before Dedivanovic showed attendees how he conceals her psoriasis using makeup), the star politely asked to “not post too many pictures of [her] face all busted.”Kim Kardashian West with psoriasis on her face without any makeup during Mario Dedivanovic’s The Master Class on Saturday in Los Angeles. Earlier that week, Kardashian West got called out by DailyMail.com for imperfections on her face when she was photographed getting lunch in L.A. with sister Kourtney Kardashian and Kourtney’s ex Scott Disick. The outlet wrote that she suffered from a “bad skin day” in a Tweet, and one day later, Kardashian West responded. “It’s psoriasis all over my face,” she wrote on Twitter with a cry face emoji. “So I have this like rash. Khloé seems to think that I have ringworm and I don’t even know what that is,” she told her doctor. “It’s not ringworm. Khloé was wrong. It’s psoriasis,” her doctor replied. “When the doctor tells me I have psoriasis I have heard of it before because my mom has always had it but my mom didn’t have red flaky dots all over her,” Kardashian West said. “My career is doing ad campaigns and swimsuit photoshoots. People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect. Imagine what the tabloids would do to me if they saw all these spots.” The last time that Kardashian West revealed that she had a flare-up was at the end of December 2018. She tweeted, “I think the time has come I start a medication for psoriasis. I’ve never seen it like this before and I can’t even cover it at this point. It’s taken over my body.” (Source: People.com)
A slew of powerful medications can help control psoriasis, but your most powerful weapons against the condition may be some simple lifestyle changes. From eating right to de-stressing to honing your beauty routine, how you live your life can affect psoriasis symptoms for the better. The best part? Many of these same lifestyle measures will boost your overall health. Here’s how to take control over your psoriasis by making smart choices in your daily life.
– Do manage stress: There is a clear link between psoriasis and stress, with up to 78% of people with psoriasis believing stress aggravates their condition. It can also be a vicious circle with psoriasis flares adding to your stress levels. Though there is no research definitively showing that lowering stress can improve your psoriasis, many patients swear by the strategy. Lori Leyden-Rubenstein, PhD, who has had psoriasis for 30 years and is the author of The Stress Management Handbook: Strategies for Health and Inner Peace ($16; amazon.com), is one of them. “My psoriasis has been under control for the last 20 years, every since I started practicing stress management,” she says.
– Do meditate: One simple (and virtually free) way to manage stress? Meditation. Studies have proven time and time again meditating can ease stress and alleviate anxiety. A 2014 study from Carnegie Mellon University found that 25-minute meditation sessions done three days in a row helped decrease stress. Meditators reported feeling less anxious when completing math and speech-related problems after their three-day meditation regimens. Another study published in Frontiers in Immunology found that meditation practices including yoga and Tai Chi can even alter a person’s DNA. Researchers found that those who practice mind-body exercises produce fewer cytokines, proteins that contribute to inflammation, cancer risk, and depression. “These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed,” said study author Ivana Buric in a press release.
– Do get in aerobic exercise: Throwing a few punches at boxing class or hitting the running path may be the last thing you want to do when you have psoriasis, but research shows exercise, specifically the aerobic kind, can alleviate stress and symptoms of the skin condition. A 2017 review in Brain Plasticity found that positive mental effects can be felt immediately following one sweat session. These effects include less stress, an overall better mood, and better brain function. “The studies presented in this review clearly demonstrate that acute exercise has profound effects on brain chemistry and physiology, which has important implications for cognitive enhancements in healthy populations and symptom remediation in clinical populations,” noted co-author Julia C. Basso in a press release. Fitting in aerobic exercise can be as simple as flowing through a few sequences in yoga class or dancing it out to a workout video. Either way, the results are extremely beneficial in soothing psoriasis-related stress and anxiety.
– Do try therapy: Skin conditions like psoriasis take an obvious physical toll on a person, but the mental effects can be just as harsh. An analysis in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that people with psoriasis lead more stressful and anxiety-ridden lives than people without the skin condition. “Disfigurement and stigmatization connected with psoriasis may lead to depression,” the study authors also noted. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or talk therapy, can help people better deal with anxiety and depression. A 2015 review in BMJ looked at 11 previous studies and found that CBT, when used alone or paired with antidepressants, can alleviate depression symptoms as effectively as treatment with meds alone.
– Do consider antidepressants: People with psoriasis have double the chance of developing depression as the rest of the population, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. If you find exercise or therapy doesn’t soothe your anxiety or depression, it might be time to talk to your doctor about antidepressant medication options. A 2013 study in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that people with plaque psoriasis who used SSRIs, a type of antidepressant drug, were less likely to need additional, stronger psoriasis treatments after taking the SSRI for six months.
– Don’t be overweight: Eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight is critical, says Neil Korman, MD, PhD, clinical director of the Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis in Cleveland Heights, Ohio: “We do know that people who are obese are at increased risk for psoriasis, and that losing weight may help improve your psoriasis.” Being overweight may also make your psoriasis more severe and may speed progression to psoriatic arthritis, which affects about 30% of people with skin psoriasis, and reduce the effectiveness of medications. Losing weight can make your condition easier to handle, amp up the power of drugs and reduce your risk for heart disease, a very real concern if you have psoriasis.
– Don’t OD on junk: Small tweaks (eating more vegetables, trading white bread and rice for whole grains, eliminating processed food) can improve your health with psoriasis. These are also important ingredients of a heart-healthy diet. Other tips to take care of your heart: avoid saturated fats, trans fats and salt, focus on protein from fish and lean meat and opt for fat-free or low-fat dairy. Also monitor how much alcohol you drink. Too much can make your psoriasis worse, especially if you’re a man.
– Do avoid harsh products: Avoid harsh soaps (such as deodorant soaps) as well as scrubs, which can be very irritating, says Neil Korman, MD, PhD, clinical director of the Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis in Cleveland. Also avoid products that contain chemicals, fragrances and dyes. Some widely available natural bath products, on the other hand, can actually help.
– Don’t dry out: Doctors recommend that psoriasis patients keep their skin well moisturized to prevent scales, soothe dry skin and ease itching. This is especially important during the winter, the year’s worst season for dry skin. The best time to apply moisturizer is after a shower or bath, or after washing your hands.
– Do practice scalp care: Many psoriasis patients have lesions on their scalps, ranging from barely noticeable to severe. Coal-tar shampoos ($19; amazon.com) slow the proliferation of skin cells and reduce inflammation, especially for mild scalp psoriasis. They also help with itching. Apply these shampoos gently and be wary of chemical processes like perms, hair dye or straightening which can aggravate scalp psoriasis. UV light as a dedicated treatment or from the sun can also help. Try parting your hair in many rows to give the rays a better chance of penetrating. Or try a handheld UVB comb, which will actually get the healing light right to where it’s most needed.
– Don’t skip conditioner: Conditioners can disguise the smell of tar shampoos (which aren’t meant to clean your hair anyway) and restore the moisture that shampoos take away. After using a tar shampoo, shampoo your hair from the ends up to about an inch from your scalp then do the same with a conditioner. Ask your doctor about ingredients in other products that might aggravate your psoriasis.
– Do sun with care: Though UV light can be therapeutic, you don’t want to get burned. Even a mild sunburn can trigger a psoriasis outbreak. Because sunscreen prevents rays from getting to your skin, experts recommend staying in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes—long enough to get the benefit of the sun, but not long enough to get burned. If you’re new to the practice, start your exposure gradually. Too much sun can also render certain drugs ineffective, or exacerbate side effects. Other drugs and supplements, like St. John’s Wort, can make you more sensitive to the sun. Tell your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking. And never get your rays from tanning beds. They don’t give you the right kind of rays even while they magnify your chances of getting skin cancer.
– Do choose the right makeup: It’s safe to use makeup any time, even if you have a breakout. Just look for makeup that says noncomedogenic or nonacnegenic. Hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free and products designed for people with rosacea or sensitive skin also tend to be less irritating to people with psoriasis. If you’re worried about aging skin and want to stem the tide of wrinkles with retinoid treatment, over-the-counter preparations tend to be gentler than prescription compounds. (Source: Health.com)