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Beyoncé Opened Up About Living With Psoriasis and Her ‘Deeply Personal’ Hair Care Journey

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Beyoncé may have inspired millions of fans to embrace our inner flawlessness, but even the Queen Bey herself has struggled with her share of less-than-perfect skin and hair days.

More specifically, Beyoncé opened up in a new Essence cover story about growing up in her mother Tina Knowles’s hair salon, and her “deeply personal” hair care journey—a large part of which has been impacted by the fact that she lives with the skin condition psoriasis.

“I have many beautiful memories attached to my hair,” Beyoncé told Essence. “The relationship we have with our hair is such a deeply personal journey. From spending my childhood in my mother’s salon to my father applying oil on my scalp to treat my psoriasis—these moments have been sacred to me.”

These memories also helped inspire Beyoncé to launch her own hair care line, Cécred, which is available to shop on Cecred.com as of February 20.

“I think that connection of community, mother and child, father and child, and respect—and allowing yourself to be taken care of, especially for Black women, who are always taking care of everyone else—it’s all sacred,” Beyoncé said.

Beyoncé isn’t the only A-lister to open up about psoriasis—and how they’ve chosen to treat it—lately. Kim Kardashian recently claimed that she uses a tanning bed to treat her psoriasis, a method that dermatologists universally recommend against.

Psoriasis is a common affliction in the overall population: According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis affects more than 3% of the adult population in the US, which amounts to more than 7.5 million adults.

As for what psoriasis actually is? According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, board-certified dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, it’s an inflammatory condition in which your immune cells essentially become “angry at your skin,” which “leads to characteristic red, scaly plaques that can affect any part of the body.”

One area this condition often affects is the scalp, which was the case for Beyoncé. “Scalp psoriasis is a common skin disorder that causes the skin cells to grow extremely fast and become patches of dry, itchy, flaky skin,” Caroline Robinson, MD, FAAD, a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist, tells Glamour. It is unclear exactly what causes psoriasis or triggers outbreaks, but what is known is that it’s not contagious.

Beyoncé and her father chose to treat her flare-ups with topical scalp oil, which is a common approach. However, psoriasis treatment is largely unique to each individual and depends on personal preference and the condition’s severity. “If you suffer from psoriasis, topical treatments like cortisone and noncortisone creams are available either over-the-counter or by prescription,” Dr. Zeichner says. “They can be very effective for localized cases.”

It’s also possible to treat scalp psoriasis symptoms with specialized clarifying and exfoliating shampoos, so long as they’re gentle—which means Beyoncé did her research. The Cécred Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub is formulated with gentle exfoliants and tea tree oil to remove product buildup and residue, which clarifies hair without overstripping (something that can also cause an itchy scalp).

Cécred Clarifying Shampoo & Scalp Scrub

$.00, Cécred

If switching to scalp-friendly hair care doesn’t quite do the trick in alleviating psoriasis symptoms, dermatologists suggest seeking professional medical guidance.

“If you are suffering from psoriasis, there is help, so it’s important to visit a certified dermatologist for evaluation and treatment,” Dr. Zeichner says. You can find a provider experienced in treating psoriasis in patients with all skin colors on the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Health Care Provider Directory.

Danielle Sinay is the associate beauty editor at Glamour. Follow her on Instagram @daniellesinay.


Originally Appeared on Glamour