Kim Kardashian has psoriasis, a condition that causes scaly patches to flare up on your skin, particularly around your scalp, elbows, and knees. It’s chronic – meaning there’s no cure – but there are medications to help manage it.
Kim has been very candid about her struggle with psoriasis, often opening up on social media in a way that makes others feel less alone. Here’s a thorough breakdown of every time she’s done this – including the time she said, very plainly, “psoriasis is the sh*ts.”
2005–2006: Kim has her first psoriasis flare-up
“When I was 25, I had my first psoriasis flare-up,” she wrote years later in a blog post for her sister Kourtney’s website Poosh. “I got a common cold, and since psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, this triggered it. It was all over my stomach and legs.
“Luckily, in my apartment complex at the time, my neighbour was a dermatologist. I showed it to him, and he said to come into the office and he would give me a shot of cortisone, and then hopefully it would go away (since it was my first big outbreak). I did this and my psoriasis completely went away for about five years.”
2011: Kim’s psoriasis returns in her early 30s
“[The psoriasis] came back again in my early 30s,” Kim wrote in her post on Poosh. And, indeed, she receives the diagnosis on a 2011 episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
“People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect,” she says on the show, per ABC News. “When I gain a pound, it’s in the headlines. Imagine what the tabloids would do to me if they saw all these spots?” Her mother, Kris Jenner, also has psoriasis, though Kim is the only one of her children who inherited it.
2012 and 2014: Kim’s psoriasis goes away during her two pregnancies
Kim welcomed her first daughter, North, in 2013, and her first son, Saint, in 2015. Daughter Chicago came in 2018, followed by son Psalm in 2019, both via surrogate. “When I got pregnant both times, it fully went away,” she wrote in her Poosh post. “That was amazing, but then it came back again.”
2016: Kim opens up about her self-image as it pertains to psoriasis
“Sometimes the rashes are itchy, sometimes they’re flaky,” she writes. “Mine flares up from time to time for different reasons…
“Scientists are constantly researching and developing new medications to help treat it, but for now I use a topical cortisone ointment every night before bed. I’m always hoping for a cure, of course, but in the meantime, I’m learning to just accept it as part of who I am.”
2018: Kim inquires about medications for psoriasis
“I think the time has come I start a medication for psoriasis,” she tweets. “I’ve never seen it like this before and I can’t even cover it at this point. It’s taken over my body. Has anyone tried a medication for psoriasis & what kind works best? Need help ASAP!!!”
Up until this point, Kim has talked about the light treatments, creams, and other natural remedies she’s used to manage her psoriasis.
February 2019: Kim hits back at the Daily Mail for saying she was having a “bad skin day”
“It’s psoriasis all over my face,” she tweets.
Support for the reality star turned mogul comes pouring in, with one person tweeting, “Do not let the media shake you. My mom has psoriasis, it took her a long time to accept it and not let the opinions of others shake her. Her psoriasis is still bad bc there are underlining issues she refuses to address, but people like you help start those convos. Thank you.”
Later the same month, Kim posts three deeply relatable photos of her psoriasis flare-ups. She captioned one selfie, which shows her flare-ups covered in herbal healing ointment, “Psoriasis is the sh*ts.” Kim then shares a second photo to show her followers how she’s treating the issue, and a third of the flare-ups on her legs, which she jokingly captions, “Sexy.”
“I actually really appreciate that Kim Kardashian talks about her psoriasis so publicly. It makes me feel loads better about it,” one fan writes, praising the reality star for the uploads. “You know what,” writes another, “I applaud Kim K for speaking openly & showing her psoriasis. She gets so much sh*t from people about this & that but that’s something I really appreciate about her.”
March 2019: Kim shares selfies of her flare-ups to social media
She captions them simply, “Psoriasis face.”
She posted something similar to Snapchat, writing, “morning psoriasis.”
September 2019: Kim reveals she’s been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.
“It’s similar to arthritis that can stem from psoriasis and it can come and go,” she writes. “It’s still painful and scary, but I was happy to have a diagnosis. No matter what autoimmune condition I had, I was going to get through it, and they are all manageable with proper care.”
That optimism is key to how Kim Kardashian approaches her psoriasis now. “If you have psoriasis, you can’t let it ruin your life or get the best of you,” she says. “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.”