We sometimes think of celebrities as shiny, smooth, perfect humans because that’s how we often see them on film, television, or their curated Instagram accounts. But famous people have chronic illnesses too. We aren’t always aware of what they’re going through behind the scenes.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis affects more than 8 million people in the United States and more than 125 million people globally. So it makes sense that some stars out there have the condition.
We’ve rounded up several celebs who are vocal and candid about their psoriasis and how the disease affects their lives.
Affectionately known to fans as JVN, this beloved “Queer Eye” star posted a shirtless Insta photo in 2018 that got more than 55K likes. “Sickeningly Gorge,” he wrote. “I left my psoriasis and my body unretouched, why should I dim my shine henny?” You shouldn’t, JVN!
He later posted another shirtless shot, garnering more than 215K likes, sharing that he’d been flare-free for 6 months. The post included an important caveat: “But if I get a flare again she still works it so either way we cool,” he wrote.
If you’ve been keeping up with the Kardashians, you may know that Kim Kardashian West has psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
In a 2011 episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” she was diagnosed with the condition after developing itchy blotches on her legs. Since then, she’s posted candidly on Instagram about flare-ups and even wrote an essay about her experiences on Poosh. “I hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she wrote.
The ’80s rocker chick of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” fame has become the psoriasis awareness rock star the world needs.
The award-winning singer, songwriter, and actor was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2010. Since then, she’s partnered with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals to speak about the condition.
Lauper says her goal is to raise awareness to reduce stigma and help people find effective treatments. “Nobody talks about it,” she said in an interview. “I’m a big fan of unpopular causes.”
Rimes gained country music star status in the mid-’90s, racking up singer-songwriter awards all over the place. She’s recently earned accolades for her willingness to bare it all in a Glamour shoot to raise awareness about psoriasis. According to the interview, the 38-year-old, who was diagnosed as a tot, had been flare-free for 16 years — that is, until 2020 unleashed an S-storm of stress.
On her Insta she shared, “I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through. This is finally my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like. You know when you say something you’ve been holding in for so long, and it’s such a sigh of relief? That’s what these photos are to me. I needed this.”
The former Oasis front man occasionally talks psoriasis on Twitter. In a 2020 tweet, he wrote, “Cleaning the house my psoriasis is raging so wearing gloves all day.”
The tweet prompted fellow folx with psoriasis to weigh in with their current treatments. Some were surprised to find out he has psoriasis. Yet others could never forget Gallagher’s infamous tale (recounted in an interview) of when a fan mistook his skin flakes for cocaine and tried to snort them after a show in the mid-’90s.
The five-time Olympian, who swam her way to 12 medals, said in an interview that she at first thought she had a rash from chlorine and spending so much time in the pool. She sought treatment when it became intolerable. That’s when she learned she had psoriasis.
Since then, Torres has been raising awareness through various campaigns to help others with the condition. “You need to follow your dreams and not let this get in the way of what you want to do,” she has said. “You shouldn’t be embarrassed. You should feel comfortable in your own skin.”
Psoriasis affects people from all walks of life, including musicians, television stars, and Olympic athletes. Regardless of one’s fame or fortune, Grammys or gold medals, psoriasis can be a debilitating condition. Itchy, scaly patches of skin can certainly sap anyone’s self-assuredness, whether they’re in front of the camera or going out with friends.
The celebrities mentioned here help keep the conversation real about psoriasis so others with the condition can get the treatment they need and feel more confident about the skin they’re in.