Kardashian has psoriasis – what is it?
July 25th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

Kardashian has psoriasis – what is it?

Kim Kardashian learned she has psoriasis in an episode of  “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” that aired Sunday.

Alarmed after finding red, itchy patches on her legs, Kardashian heads to the dermatologist.  Dr. Harold Lancer takes one look at the scaly rash and determines she has psoriasis, a common skin disease that causes skin to dry and form itchy spots.

The severity of psoriasis depends on the person – some people can be covered in these patches; other cases can be associated with arthritis.  For others, it’s just a small nuisance.

“I cannot have psoriasis,” Kardashian tells her dermatologist on the show.

Health.com: Living with the stigma of psoriasis

It turns out Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner also has psoriasis.  It’s largely believed to be genetic and related to the immune system.

“I’ve heard of it before, because my mom has always had it.  She didn’t have red flaky dots all over,” Kardashian said.

A type of white blood cell called a T cell fights off infections in the body.  T cells attack healthy skin cells in a person with psoriasis, according to Mayo Clinic. When the dead skin cells and white blood cells can't clear, they form rash.  Researchers believe genetics and environmental factors may trigger the T cells.

“It’s not curable, because you can’t alter the genetics,” Lancer said.

Kardashian’s face falls.

“My career is doing ad campaigns and swimsuit photo shoots,” she said.  “People don’t understand the pressure on me to look perfect.  When I gain a pound, it’s in the headlines.  Imagine what the tabloids would do to me if they saw all these spots.”

Health.com: How to have a happy sex life when you have psoriasis

Treatments such as topical creams, light therapy and medications can reduce the symptoms in some people.  The patches can flare up because of infections, stress, cold weather, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.

Lancer tells her, “the No. 1 way to help yourself is lead an easier, slower pace life.”

Kardashian blogged that her sister “Khloe freaks me out saying it’s ringworm, but it turns out I have psoriasis!! My mom has had psoriasis for years, so it’s good that I can talk to her about it.”

Health.com: How to take care of psoriasis at home

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter





Filed under: Autoimmune disorder

soundoff (1,428 Responses)
  1. keeth

    Maybe it's time to think about a fall-back career/set of skills that does not rely on beauty, which always fades.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • palintwit

      See my earlier comment at 14:24

      July 25, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • DJCowboy

      palintwit, you're just pimping out that comment at 14:24! I wished it was actually about something interesting 🙁

      July 25, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • taterhead

      Narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which people have an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with themselves

      July 25, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      God,Somebody give this girl some talent or something so what she does say can count for something.What a F@#$%ing narsacist.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Texican113

      I have psorisis and it is a battle everyday. Humira/steroids and tar creams! Hopefully, she can get over herself and bring more attention to this affliction

      July 25, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      that's why she's marrying a basketball player. GUARANTEED CONTRACTS!

      July 25, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
  2. Sunday

    For Gawd's sake! with PHOTOSHOP no one ever looks like themselves in photos now anyways! WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

    July 25, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Lynn

    I find it sad that someone is so shallow as to freak out over something that is pretty minor. I mean yes, it's probably a hassle and sometimes uncomfortable, but it's nots life threatening.....Get over it girl, normal people live and deal with much worse every single day and you don't see them crying getting all upset over it.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JNessmith

      Her reaction speaks VOLUMES about her shallow personality.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • Jara

      It runs in my family my dad, brother and myself all get it. If it flares up it can lead to blood infections and there is no "cure" just steroids and pills and crap. The only way to really deal is perfect diet, no booze, no smokes, no stress ever, seriously dont have stress or your psoriasis will get you. She has a choice to make, cause it can get gross quick, even with photoshop cracked bloody skin is gross. I cant stand KimK but nobody deserves this, if anybody can live a stress free life its her, like she needs to work.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Eric


      It may seem minor to you, but as someone who has lived 33 years with psoriasis, I can tell you, it is not. Not only is it ugly, and do people stare at you, or move away thinking it's contageous, it can also be extremely painful, and quite a nuisance. You're probably just a KK/Celeb basher, and would have posted the same thing if she had a different affliction. But let me tell you: I think it's great news that this will get out. The more we see people we know with diseases that people have stigmas about, the closer we get to overcoming those sigmas.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Guess she's not as perfect as she thought. See Karma does win out in the end.... sometimes it just takes a wHile. 🙂 (H on purpose like Cool wHip) Is this really news worthy? I think our country has some serious issues to address and Kim Kardashian's psoriasis is the best story you can come up with? REALLY?

      July 25, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
    • Amy Walker

      I couldn't have said it better myself. God forbid any of these vain celebrities get struck with something that is major, what happens then? Sad to think that we have children that look up to this woman.....sad sad sad,

      July 25, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • mag

      i do not take whatever condition she has seriously. she thinks she is too important to have any challenges in her life. This skin disease is not fun for people who have it, but i hate this ho so much that i hope she gets cancer too.

      July 25, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
  4. John

    Awesome. Too bad Narcacissm isn't terminal.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy


      July 25, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • JNessmith

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! My thoughts exactly.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Timme62

      Amen, there are thousands of people that deal with this day in and day out. No one is doing a story on them.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • Babyd

      That's because they are nobody and nothing and it doesn't matter if the live or die. Like you.

      July 25, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
    • mag


      July 25, 2011 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
  5. Stank

    She is UGLY BONE deep! What a narcissist.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      No kidding. Narcissism seems to be the fastest growing disease right now.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
  6. Jara

    Bet she wishes it was ringworm! At least you can cure that and it has nothing to do with worms! Psoriasis can be a living nightmare

    July 25, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. palintwit

    See my previous comment at 14:24

    July 25, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CoolHandStalin

      I think you should see your comment at 14:24! It's hilarious and completely hip with the times!

      July 25, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • spellbee

      saw it. waste of my time.

      July 25, 2011 at 17:10 | Report abuse |
  8. Tracy

    Kim scares me.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Chowman

    If she had any less substance, she would evaporate.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      I wish she would.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      Yes. She is a halogram !

      July 25, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • patty Biller


      July 25, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
  10. RenaP

    i wonder how much longer she can have a career doing basically notheng – and not really haveing any kind of talent.

    Only in America, right?

    July 25, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Robita

    Kim, we don't care. The American people are experiencing the worst ecconomic times since the depression. We don't care about rich spoiled brats who think a bikini photoshoot is "hard work". I personaly hope people like you go away.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tracy

      I totally agree.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • mag

      finally someone with some sense. she probably thinks that getting out of bed at 10AM is a challenge. SHe has everything handed to her. I hate rich celebs like her and paris hilton.

      July 25, 2011 at 17:13 | Report abuse |
  12. Tracy

    I don't get the hype about how hot this woman is supposed to be. She's conventionally attractive but she's got nothing on Mila Kunis or dozens of other celebrities.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jara

      She looks like an alien from X-Files!

      July 25, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
  13. NashvilleCritter

    maybe crabs... LOL

    July 25, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tracy

    There is not a single nice comment about Kim in this forum. Awesome. I feel relief knowing that decent people out there don't give a sh!t about disgusting people like this woman.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • taterhead

      It's most likely an alergic reaction from all the plastic surgery and botox..

      July 25, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
  15. Osama

    stop hating, shes making her money, people watch her show, get over it...yes, she is a narcassist (like 98% of my facebook list is), so what, she has a serious disease that nobody would want to get (yes i know its minor compared to the plauge)...Kim is so hot, I dont care if she has no substance, I still love her!

    July 25, 2011 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. ho ho

    Remember how she got her career started? two letters: R J

    July 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lOl

      OMG, girl needs a life.

      July 25, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  17. Frauschimdt

    thought that they old liked black men.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Maria

    Did you hear Kim, she thinks she has a career. I am still laughing. That poor delusional girl.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Osama

      I bet she has paid more taxes last year than you will in your entire life...

      July 25, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • cec

      Career or not, she makes more $$ than you'll ever make. While everyone on here is bashing her, she's living it up with her millions of dollars! She must be doing something right, like it or not!

      July 25, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
  19. Eliza

    Actually, you can manage psoriasis with diet. It's not fun but it's definitely possible. Doctor's using the genetics excuse makes me laugh every time. Usually when something 'genetic' shows up in your thirties it's actually 'diet related' but doctors can't say that so instead they say, 'sorry, your genes just suck'. http://www.flakehq.com/archives/0105h.htm

    July 25, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Osama

      Genetics does cause disease, but it allows it...

      July 25, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • Osama


      July 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Eliza

      Right, genetics are definitely a factor, no question. But to say that it is incurable is extreme and untrue.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Eliza, try figuring out the commonly held understanding of the term 'cure'. Avoiding particular substances is not a 'cure', it is a treatment at best, and a major lifestyle change for most. I suppose you would suggest people with peanut allergies can 'cure' their allergy by just not eating peanuts. Except of course it's not cured, because they would still have a serious reaction to eating peanuts.

      Yes, we can treat our psoriasis to varying degrees, but don't call it a cure, because it's not. It's a lifelong demand on at least my time and wallet, and that's when I have it under control. Psioriasis isn't cancer, but it's also not a 24 hour cold.

      July 25, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  20. Inshock

    Thank you CNN for keeping up the truly brilliant, important reporting that the real world needs to see with this article. So very, very vital to know this crap about this Gabor Sister of this Decade..

    July 25, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ROBIN


      July 25, 2011 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
  21. Smoking Baby

    OMG. How will I ever sleep tonight?

    July 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. alecia

    OMG! The world is going to end! KimKardashian has psoriasis! Next theyll be devestating us with the news that she may have split ends! News @ 11!

    July 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • iamthefredman

      LOL.. I can't wait until 11. I must know all the details now !!!

      July 25, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  23. iamthefredman

    This just shows you how self-centered and uncaring this BI-ATCH is. She says her mother has psoriasis, but never bothered to find out from her mother what the disease is or what it does or that it is genetic, which means she has a huge chance of getting it herself. Now she acts shocked that she has it. You can't fix stupid. Momma always said "stupid is as stupid does."

    July 25, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Michael In Houston

    wow. really interesting stuff here. Someone with psoriasis. This is huge news

    July 25, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply


    July 25, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Mark

    Welcome to the real world Kim!

    July 25, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. spoo

    at first I thougth taht the disease was about being stupid. well, she then has two diseases, poor soul

    July 25, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bribarian

    Are they sure this isn't an STD? We are talking about one of the biggest hobags in the country.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Laughing

    Kim, just scratch your skin until you bleed, then pee in the open wound. Click your heels three times and you'll be good as new.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Amy

    Hey guys, will you do me a favor and visit HelpFaye.ORG a friend of mine is fighting for her life.... Thanks

    July 25, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • trigtwit... tard baby deluxe

      * poot * ... drool

      July 25, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  31. Dale

    Has she been tested for STD's? I'd start looking for genital warts to appear Kim.

    July 25, 2011 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Smd

    Why is this news??????

    July 25, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Babydoc

      Because her father helped get OJ off and she has large firm breasts and luscious lips!

      July 25, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse |
  33. Patrick

    How about approaching one of the pharma companies that make meds for psoriasis and get a job doing ad spots for them? There's an idea eh? This chick is acting like it's the end of the world. I think her reaction is a bit insensitive considering how many young girls & boys there are out there w/ low self esteem because of this disease. My 16 y/o daughter has a very mild case on her knees and elbows. It's completely unnoticeable when it's not flared up. But when it flares up, her knees and elbows get very red. It was never a probelm for her growing up, but now she's 16 and getting asked out by boys and getting very self conscious about her physical appearance. We just keep reassuring her that she's a beautifuly girl. She's a tremendous athlete, artist, musician, and excels academically beyond our wildest expectations. She'll be just fine. We're constantly researching dietary things she can do to keep it under control. It's all you can do. Kim Kardashian should've shown a little more sensitivity than that knowing how many young girls may be affected by her reaction to it.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Corey

      Not a bad idea. If you had any idea the cost of some of these drugs I'm sure millions would want to sign up. Not that K.K has to worry about that department. but seriously some of the shots cost up to $2,000 a month. Trust me I'm on one of them.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • John in Calif

      Currently I am using Humira and it is $3600 a month for two injections and it doesn't help it completely by any means. Thank goodness for insurance otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it.

      July 25, 2011 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
  34. Joe Fattal

    She was bang too many times in the butt.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. noway

    why is it that we need a celebrity to shed light on a skin condition that most americans already live with?? talentless people playing a silent stage to the sheep of a crumbling empire. the world is in a sad state. bring on the apocalypse.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Michele R.

    Uh, that would be a secondary disease. The primary one here is self-aggrandizement.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. sparky

    the kardashian family, getting black athletes off since 1994

    July 25, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • joe

      She has had more bro's than the NY state penal system.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
  38. Richie

    JEEEEZ Kim, if you stop sucking those dongs that infected with std that might help ahahaha

    July 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. sparky

    something tells me she's no stranger to strange rashes down there...

    July 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Shesugly

    Sorry for that but she is still ugly as poop

    July 25, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Richie

    It probably is AIDS, not psoriasis 🙁

    July 25, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RabiaDiluvio

      Bullpucky. AIDS doesn't even look like psoriasis. Please put your internet medical degree in the shredder ASAP.

      July 25, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Richie

      RabiaDiluvio..lol at internet medical degree looooooooooooooooooool

      July 25, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
  42. Revolting

    Add to the list, yet another reason she is disgusting.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. willie

    Her real disease is vanity...

    July 25, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. joe

    She should be more concerned about the herpes

    July 25, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Vanilla Gorilla

    wow – she has to deal with the "heartbreak of psoriasis" maybe we could get lucky and she will get something that will keep her from talking let's hope she doesn't reproduce as the world has enough empty souls already
    if she were any more shallow light would pass through her

    July 25, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RabiaDiluvio

    Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and autoimmune disease is on the rise in the US.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. job2010

    no worries Photoshop can do miracles!

    July 25, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. T-rex


    July 25, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. brendon

    She's a self-absorbed, talentless idiot.

    July 25, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. ComeOnWoman

    That's not psoriasis, that's just dried c.um

    July 25, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Real Bristol Palin

      I know what that is !!!

      July 25, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
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