Kim Kardashian‘s troubles are more than just skin-deep.
The reality TV star turned business mogul has written a heartfelt essay for Poosh.com in which she expands on her struggle with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
“Even though I always grew up with my mom having psoriasis and hearing her talk about her struggle, I really had no idea what my life would be like dealing with an autoimmune disease myself,” she begins, explaining that it’s been 13 years since she first experienced a psoriasis flare-up. “I am the only child my mom passed down her autoimmune issue to,” she adds. “Lucky me, lol.”
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, more than 8 million Americans suffer from the condition.
Kardashian, 38, treated her first psoriasis flare-up with a cortisone shot, conveniently delivered by her then-neighbor, a dermatologist, after which it went away for five years, only to return in her early 30s.
“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,” she details, before adding that “when I got pregnant both times, it fully went away.”
Kardashian described her initial experience with the arthritis side of the disease as first occurring when she was unable to pick up her phone or use a toothbrush. At first she assumed that she’d simply overdone a workout, but as the day wore on, “I got a bit more movement in my hands, but they really hurt from the inside — I felt it in my bones.”
“I immediately started to cry and felt so lost,” Kardashian added, noting soon after was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Her doctor, however, explained that it was possible she’d had a false positive, so she came back three days later to discover this was indeed true, and that her pain stemmed from psoriatic arthritis.
Kardashian also outlined “about four months” before the arthritis diagnosis where she tried “everything natural — every ointment, cream, serum, and foam you can possibly imagine and everything from the dermatologist,” including celery juice and herbal tea.
Today, however, she has become “extremely comfortable with my psoriasis.”
“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 hope my story can help anyone else with an autoimmune disease feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”