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Suffering with psoriasis: What to know about the skin condition Kim Kardashian lives with

Are you familiar with the condition?

FANS OF KEEPING Up With the Kardashians will likely know that Kim lives with a skin condition known as psoriasis.

NY: NYFW amfAR Gala 2019 - Arrivals Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

While the scenes surrounding her diagnosis – like many on the long-running reality TV show – may have been contrived for dramatic effect, the effect the condition has had on Kim is far from it.

Diagnosed in 2011, the mother-of-three has spent the last eight years attempting to manage her psoriasis, telling fans last December that she has chosen to take the medicinal route. 

On Sunday, the 38-year-old uploaded an image to Instagram stories which acted as a reminder that she still battles the condition.

The photo gave an indicator of the severity of the condition, with various areas of her face – including her chin, cheekbones and forehead – playing host to red flaky patches.

PastedImage-4240 Source: kimkardashian/Instagram

Kim, whose mother Kris also suffers from the condition, captioned the image: “Morning psoriasis.”

With the reality star raising awareness of a condition which affects more than 70,000 people in Ireland, it’s definitely worth educating yourself on the subject.

So, what exactly is psoriasis?

Well, first off, psoriasis is not the result of poor hygiene, nor is it contagious or infectious.

According to the Irish Skin Foundation, psoriasis is a ‘chronic, systemic, inflammatory skin disorder in which there is an increase in the rate at which skin cells are produced and shed from the skin.’

Psoriasis is related to the immune system – an autoimmune disease – and is not yet curable.

What does it look like?

It manifests as red flaky patches on the skin which are often itchy and painful, and are known to bleed.

Where does it tend to appear?

It’s most commonly seen on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back, but it can affect any area of the skin.

Who can get it?

Psoriasis can start at any time of life, but most commonly occurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years, with a second peak in incidence occurring at around age 57-60 years. It affects males and females equally.

If both Kris and Kim have it, does that mean it’s hereditary?

While the condition does tend to run in families, it has not yet been established if it is hereditary. In other words, while the potential is there, it is not a given.

So it’s not curable, but how is it treated?

According to the Irish Skin Foundation, treatment for the condition falls under four categories, and it’s important to approach a medical practitioner in order to ascertain which treatment will work best for you, your body and your condition.

  • Topical treatments: creams or ointments which are applied directly to the skin.
  • Ultraviolet light therapy: delivered in hospital dermatology departments),
  • Systemic medications: medication that work internally.
  • Biologic treatments medication based on compounds made by living cells

Given the physicality of the condition, psoriasis can impact not only a sufferer’s sense of well-being, but can also have a negative impact on a sufferer’s self-esteem.

If you suffer, or suspect you suffer from psoriasis, reach out to medical professionals who will be able to assist you in your management of the condition.

You contact the ISF Helpline on (01) 486 6280 for one-to-one information and support.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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