LeAnn Rimes Shares What It’s Really Like Living With Psoriasis: ‘It’s Still a Challenge Mentally’

·4 min read
LeAnn Rimes Shares What It’s Really Like Living With Psoriasis: ‘It’s Still a Challenge Mentally’
  • LeAnn Rimes is raising awareness for Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes a buildup of skin cells.

  • She spoke with Prevention to share how the pandemic played a role in her most recent flare-up.

  • Rimes revealed her top tips for dealing with painful flare-ups after living with the disease for 37 years.

LeAnn Rimes is not afraid of the limelight. From wowing fans with her voice on stage to posting cheeky videos of her husband on Instagram, she's amassed an impressive social following for sharing candidly about her life—and she's also using her platform to shine a light on something less glamorous than what we typically see on social media: Psoriasis.

Rimes' Psoriasis journey started when she was just two, so she doesn’t really remember life without it—and it progressed quickly, starting on her scalp and spreading all over her body.

“By the time I was six I was 80% covered on my body. My hands, feet, and face, and have battled it my whole life,” the 39-year-old told Prevention. “I don't know my life without it. I’ve had years where I've gone clear, because of different medication that luckily have worked but I don't know really my life without that being part of it.”

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes a buildup of skin cells. This buildup causes rough patches that are often scaly, red, and inflamed. It can affect any part of the body, but it most commonly develops behind the elbows and knees, as well as the scalp, back, face, palms, and feet.

Luckily, Rimes says her current medication is keeping her skin clear. But, that hasn't always been the case. Last year, Rimes made headlines for posting nude photos to Instagram, showing the world exactly what it looks like to be in the midst of a flare-up.

“With the extra stress [of the pandemic] my body did flare-up, and that’s when I posted those photos of myself on Instagram,” she told Prevention. “I’ve never actually had a flare while discussing it, and so I wanted people to see that it was real, that I do struggle through the same things that they do ... you know encourage people to share their own stories.”

Now, over a year later, Rimes has partnered with Novartis and Cindi Lauper’s PSO in the Know podcast, a show that focuses on Psoriasis, to spread awareness. Rimes and Lauper are working hard to ensure others don’t feel alone in their illness. “You know building this community is so so important with more than 8 million people in America living with this. It’s inspiring and encouraging to be able to share our own challenges and our own triumphs and everything with one another,” Rimes said.

When asked how she copes with the symptoms of Psoriasis after 37 years with the disease, she says she takes a natural approach, in addition to her medication, of course.

“I use raw coconut oil which I love, I also love a little bit of any kind of carrier oil with a bit of essential oil in it.”

But more than just the products and medication she uses to deal with itchy, flaky skin, she emphasizes the importance of getting outside, soaking up some Vitamin D, and taking a dip in the sea.

“Saltwater and sunshine—mother nature’s gifts to us—truly, truly help me,” she said. “I’ve been in a place before many times and gone on vacation and come back and been completely clear.” And there’s some science to back this up. One small 2020 study of 18 people with Psoriasis found that after spending time in the Dead Sea in Israel, patients saw an immediate effect on skin manifestations and an improved quality of life.

Though if there’s anything Rimes wants you to take away from her journey with Psoriasis, it’s that she wants those who are suffering from it (or anything that sets them apart), to know that loving yourself is key.

“It’s still a challenge mentally because you know I think we’re all aware of the judgments from the outside but more importantly from the inside,” she said. “That self-compassion and self-love as cliche as it can be is the most important piece. Accepting the totality of who we are.”

We couldn’t agree more. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for the musician!

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