Kim Kardashian has opened up about her difficult battle with “extremely bad” psoriasis.
The 38-year-old got candid about her autoimmune condition in a lengthy essay shared on her sister Kourtney’s website Poosh.
The mother-of-four started her essay by writing: “Today I’m sharing with Poosh my journey with the autoimmune conditions psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including what’s worked for me and how I’ve adjusted my life since being diagnosed.”
Kim explained that her mother, Kris Jenner, also had psoriasis – but was able to treat it with UV rays from a tanning bed, which didn’t work for Kim at all.
She wrote: “It’s been 13 years since I experienced my first psoriasis flare-up. My journey has been very different from my mom’s, but I see so many similarities as well. She had it in her scalp and all over her body, and I’d see it all the time and remember her going to the tanning salon to try and ease it.”
“Getting UV rays directly on the spots really helped my mom. For me, however, that remedy would burn the areas and cause them to itch, so I always felt helpless. I am the only child my mom passed down her autoimmune issue to. Lucky me, lol.”
The reality star continued: “When I was 25, I had my first psoriasis flare-up. I got a common cold, and since psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, this triggered it. It was all over my stomach and legs.”
“Luckily, in my apartment complex at the time, my neighbor was a dermatologist. I showed it to him, and he said to come into the office and he would give me a shot of cortisone and then hopefully it would go away (since it was my first big outbreak). I did this and my psoriasis completely went away for about five years.”
But unfortunately, Kim’s psoriasis came back when she was in her early thirties.
She wrote: “At the time, I wasn’t sure it was psoriasis. I was living in New York—I will never forget it, since it was our DASH store opening in November. I was wearing this glitzy sequin dress from our store to the opening and I came home afterward and was itching.
“It seemed like it came out of nowhere, but I thought that my skin was just sensitive toward the dress’s material, so I didn’t think too much about it. And then I came home to LA for Mason’s first birthday party and my mom looked at my leg and said it was definitely psoriasis.”
The KKW Beauty owner said this is when her “real psoriasis journey” began, and she’s been battling it ever since.
“For the past eight years, although the spots are unpredictable, I can always count on my main spot on my right lower leg, which consistently stays flared up,” Kim wrote.
“I have learned to live with this spot without using any creams or medication—I just deal. Sometimes I cover it up and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t really bother me.”
Funnily enough, Kim said her psoriasis went away when she was pregnant with her eldest children, North and Saint, but it always returned.
Kim continued: “Earlier this year is when it got extremely bad—it covered my whole face and a majority of my entire body.”
Then, Kim started to notice symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, “One night, I woke up to use the restroom and I physically couldn’t pick up my phone. I thought it was strange but maybe I just slept on my hands weird and I was so tired, I didn’t need to be checking my phone at that hour anyway. I fell right back asleep.”
“I woke up that morning and I still couldn’t pick up my phone. I was freaking out—I couldn’t even pick up a toothbrush, my hands hurt so badly. I had worked out the day before and we did an arm day, so I thought maybe one of the exercises strained my hand.”
“As the day went on, I got a bit more movement in my hands, but they really hurt from the inside—I felt it in my bones. Everyone assumed it was just my workout, but I knew this felt different.
“I let two days go by and I remembered I had to fly to Vegas for Jimmy Kimmel. I was so uncomfortable the whole time because my hands were in so much pain. I felt miserable,” she wrote.
“After I flew home, I went to the doctor because then I thought I could possibly have rheumatoid arthritis. I knew I felt the pain in my bones, and after I Googled the possibilities, I was beyond scared.”
“You really can get in a crazy headspace when you think you have something. My doctor said I could have a false positive, and he wanted me to come back.”
“I went back three days later, which felt like the longest three days of my life! It turns out those tests were a false positive and I did not have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. I had psoriatic arthritis.”
“It’s similar to arthritis that can stem from psoriasis and it can come and go. It’s still painful and scary, but I was happy to have a diagnosis. No matter what autoimmune condition I had, I was going to get through it, and they are all manageable with proper care.”
Kim continued: “Before the arthritis hit, I spent about four months doing everything natural—every ointment, cream, serum, and foam you can possibly imagine and everything from the dermatologist. I even tried an herbal tea that tasted like tar.”
“I tried celery juice for eight weeks. Then I’d do celery juice mixed with the tea. I would do that twice a day. I was just exhausted by everything. I changed my diet to plant-based (which I still follow).”
After trying anything and everything to help ease her symptoms, Kim said: “I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I physically couldn’t move my hands. I remember I had a press day for my Carolina Lemke sunglasses and I was wearing these purple boots and snake-print pants and I couldn’t get my pants down to go to the bathroom.”
“I couldn’t even get my bra on that day, and I had to have someone dress me because the pain was so unbearable. With the boots I was wearing, my ankles started to feel it in those joints. That’s when I knew it wasn’t just an issue in my hands, it was a bone problem.”
“I’ve become extremely comfortable with my psoriasis. No matter where it is on my body, sometimes I am fine with showing it off and other times I don’t want it to be a distraction, so I cover it up with body makeup,” she wrote.
“If you have psoriasis, you can’t let it ruin your life or get the best of you. You have to do what you can to make sure you are comfortable but not let it take over.
“I live a healthy life and try to eat as plant based as possible and drink sea moss smoothies. With all the stress in life, I try to make sure I take time for myself so that I am centered and keep my stress to a minimum.”
Concluding her essay, Kim added: “I hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”