LeAnn Rimes, 38, opened up about her journey with psoriasis in an essay for Glamour.
The singer said that her skin condition flared for the first time in 16 years due to the "stress" of the pandemic and uncertainty that came with 2020.
Rimes is embracing her skin just the way it is.
LeAnn Rimes is not hiding her psoriasis anymore. In an essay for Glamour, the singer opened up about her psoriasis diagnosis, and how the uncomfortable skin condition is flaring up for the first time 16 years due to the stress of the pandemic.
After attempting to hide her psoriasis for years, Rimes is embracing her skin the way it is. She shared the photos to Instagram in honor of World Psoriasis Day (October 29), writing in the caption that she's ready to be honest about her experience with psoriasis. "And I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through," she said.
"You know when you say something you've been holding in for so long, and it's such a sigh of relief? That's what these photos are to me," she said. "I needed this. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately."
Fans flooded the post with messages of support. "I suddenly feel less ashamed of my psoriasis," one fan wrote, while another person said, "You are so beautiful inside and out. I am always so amazed by you."
In her essay with Glamour, Rimes shared that she was diagnosed with psoriasis when she was age two. "By the time I was six, about 80% of my body was covered in painful red spots—everything but my hands, feet, and face.
According to a recent review published in BMJ, nearly 3.4 million U.S. adults have psoriasis, and although the autoimmune disease can occur in children, it generally affects adults. The condition usually results in rashes, dryness, small bumps, and redness, but it can also cause joint stiffness, inflamed tendons, and mental health issues like depression.
"I tried everything I could to treat it: steroid creams, major medications—I even tried being wrapped in coal tar with Saran Wrap," Rimes said, adding that she would also do everything in her power to hide it. "Onstage I'd often wear two pairs of pantyhose or jeans—even in 95-degree heat. Underneath my shirt, my whole stomach would be covered in thick scales that would hurt and bleed. For so much of my life, I felt like I had to hide."
In her 20s, the singer discovered a treatment that kept her flare-ups at bay, and it wasn't until this year that her bumps returned.
"All hell broke loose in the world—and inside of me, as I'm sure it did for so many other people amid this pandemic," she said. "Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, and with so much uncertainty happening, my flare-ups came right back."
Rimes is not alone—many Americans are stressed in 2020. A poll by Kaiser Family Foundation found that 53% of U.S. adults reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to stress amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Although she previously talked about her psoriasis with Shape in 2009, her skin was clear at the time, and she felt that she was still covering up her true experience with the condition. "Even though I’ve opened up, I've still kept hidden," she said. "And when you're hiding your physical body, there's so much that rolls over into your emotional and spiritual mental health. You feel like you're holding yourself back—like you've been caged in."
"We're at a moment in time right now when we're all being stripped of everything we thought we needed—and now we can see how worthy and good enough we are without all of the bullsh*t," she continued. "We're worthy without the makeup and the artifice. We're worthy of love without having to work for it."
"And that’s why I'm tired of hiding," the singer added.
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