Psoriasis can strike anyone at any age, although its less common in children.
It affects about 1 in 50 people and is virtually impossible to get rid of entirely as it’s genetic and not infectious, as many people mistakenly believe.
Although psoriasis is a very visible skin condition, it doesn’t permanently scar skin like acne or eczema can, according to the British Skin Foundation.
Psoriasis often comes in waves and sufferers can go for several years with clear skin and then it can return.
Psoriasis is caused by an acceleration of skin cell production. Normally a skin cell matures in 21-28 days. Psoriatic cells, however, turn over in 2-3 days and in such profusion that the live cells reach the surface and accumulate with the dead cells still in visible layers (hence the plaques).
Living with psoriasis can be a real challenge especially when so much about the condition is misunderstood.
Psoriasis can be controlled with careful skincare management, medications and lifestyle and diet factors.
Despite more knowledge about the skin condition there is still a great deal of stigma attached to psoriasis as it’s often mistakenly thought to be due to lack of hygiene or infectious.
For this reason, several famous people with the condition have opted to talk openly about their psoriasis in order to break down misconceptions and give more exposure to it.
Singer and song writer LeAnn Rimes developed psoriasis as a young child, which is more unusual. BY aged six about 80% of her skin was covered in psoriasis.
LeAnn has said she has tried everything to try and treat her psoriasis from steroids to coal tar and while performing on stage she’s worn extra layers of clothes to try and hide it, even though under the clothes her skin was bleeding.
She had a break from the symptoms in her late teens but it returned in her 20’s. She identifies stress as a major trigger for her flare ups.
Reality TV star Kardashian revealed she has psoriasis on an TV programme where she was filmed being diagnosed with psoriasis and expressed her shock at it being an incurable skin condition.
Kim Kardashian announced more recently on her reality TV show that she had woken up with ‘morning psoriasis’. This is where psoriasis suddenly, sometimes overnight, appears on the face.
Rock star and former frontman of the band Oasis has talked openly about his psoriasis.
Liam has revealed (how in the past at a music festival a fan mistook his skin flakes in his hair from his scalp psoriasis for cocaine.
He recently confessed on Twitter to having to wear gloves to clean his house due to a flare up of his psoriasis.
Scandal star and actor Katie Lowes was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2010 but kept it secret for years before deciding to speak up about her skin condition to the public.
Katie says weather changes and food are her biggest triggers for psoriasis flare ups. She credits her diet for controlling her flare ups and mostly avoids sugar alcohol and dairy products and sticks to a vegetable and protein diet.
Super model Cara Delevingne has spoken publicly about her battle with psoriasis and has talked in the past of people’s unkindness about her psoriasis such as make-up artists not wanting to touch her skin as they thought they might catch it.
Cara believes her psoriasis was triggered by the stress from walking so many catwalks and the constant travelling in her career combined with the amount of makeup she had to wear for her work.
80’s pop icon Cyndi Lauper has been very vocal about suffering from psoriasis since her diagnosis in 2010, often sharing how she manages the condition, which at times covers her whole body and feels ‘like hot water has been thrown over me’, while on the road.
Cyndi relies on relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to control her stress levels which she links to psoriasis flare ups. She also thinks a strict skincare regime helps manage the condition and that time needs to be taken to apply creams daily to affected skin.
Award winning late novelist John Updike wrote about his lifelong struggle psoriasis and wrote an essay on being at war with his own skin, a sentiment many psoriasis sufferers will be able to relate to.