Celebrity Kim Kardashian first acquired fame as a star of the reality series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The program, airing on cable television, documented her family's affairs and interactions, highlighting dramatic moments involving her sisters, brother, mother, and stepfather, Olympic champion Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner).

She has also appeared in movies, served as cover model for several fashion magazines, held guest starring roles in various television programs, and acted as spokesperson for clothing and shoe manufacturers. Her rise has been marred by controversy related to the release of a racy sex video several years ago, and she continues to be the subject of many gossip articles.

After receiving a diagnosis of psoriasis, a skin disorder marked by red, itchy lesions that can spread quickly throughout the body, reality star Kim Kardashian was advised by her dermatologist to reduce stress and cut back on her hectic lifestyle.

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune disease where the skin cell regeneration process occurs too rapidly causing dead skin cells to build up on the surface and form thick, red and flaky scales. Experts believe the body's immune system mistakes healthy cells for threatening substances, thereby resulting in an inflammatory skin response.

While many factors cause an attack, stress is a known trigger of psoriasis and may even make the condition more difficult to treat. As Kim Kardashian's physician noted, her frenetic lifestyle, frequent cross-country travels and stress may be fueling the condition.

Expectations to be Perfect

The television star, model and spokesperson exclaimed that her career depends on having a perfect appearance, with such intense public scrutiny that even a single pound gained draws unwanted attention and criticism. Her dermatologist replied that it is that exact pressure that may be triggering her psoriasis attacks.

Psoriasis is not only caused by emotional stress; it is also responsible for creating it, further exacerbating the problem. The sudden presence of an unsightly and frequently painful rash that may spread to the face and neck, can lead to great distress among sufferers. That added stress in turn may lead to the release of neuropeptides, chemicals that activate brain activity and may cause added pain and itching.

Things That Contribute to Kim Kardashian's Psoriasis

Other lifestyle habits related to psoriasis flare-ups include alcohol consumption, poor sleep patterns, and an unhealthy diet, common behaviors seen among those leading high-pressured lives. In Kardashian's case, in particular, being constantly hounded by paparazzi also adds emotional stress and fatigue.

Most frequently appearing among 15 and 35 year olds, the condition is considered hereditary. Kris Jenner, Kardashian's mother, stated that she was also diagnosed with the disorder at 30 years old and has battled it since. It is chronic, with periods of remission often followed by periods of outbreaks. Some people experience relatively mild symptoms while others may be debilitated, especially when arthritis is involved.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 7.5 million Americans live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. In addition to improving lifestyle habits and reducing stress, treatments include using cortisone creams and increasing natural sun exposure or undergoing light therapy to reduce symptoms.

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Sigal Sharf
Sigal Sharf


Date of original publication:

Updated: October 05, 2015