Singer LeAnn Rimes recently opened up about her struggle with psoriasis and hopes to raise awareness about the disease and its treatments.
LeAnn Rimes has lived with psoriasis since she was 2 years old but has only recently opened up about her struggle with the condition, sharing photos of her breakout on Instagram in October along with an essay in Glamourmagazine. “I’ve spoken about having psoriasis for a long time, but actually allowing myself to be seen within a flare up has been huge for my self-confidence,” Rimes said. “I feel like a massive weight has been lifted and I hope that people feel inspired to be able to show their skin too.”
The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter shared the images in hopes of encouraging others living with psoriasis to share their stories and reduce the stigma around the disease. “I’ve seen people across social media actually taking photos of themselves as I did, which is just so beautiful to see,” she said.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder where skin cells multiply at a faster rate, causing itchy rashes or scaly skin. “There’s discomfort, itchiness, the bleeding, the inflammation in the body, being prone to other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis,” Rimes said.
While the physical conditions are the most obvious and acute, psoriasis can have a detrimental impact on mental health too. “It can be incredibly isolating living with psoriasis,” Rimes said. “You’re not able to feel comfortable in your own skin.”
Rimes is raising awareness about psoriasis to help others and to feel better about her own struggle with the disorder. “I know firsthand how debilitating psoriasis can be both mentally and physically and how it can affect every single part of your life,” she said. “I want to help others like me be able to come out of their cage, the cage that psoriasis has kept them in, to show their skin too, to loosen the grips of the shame around it. I want to raise awareness for what the disease is, because I think there are still some misconceptions about what it is.”
For people newly diagnosed, Rimes suggested seeking out medical interventions immediately, whether that be topical treatments, light therapy, or medication. “Finding the right biologic drug for your body is important,” Rimes said, acknowledging that it can take some trial and error to find what works best for each person. “I think finding support either through a support group of others who have it, or close friends and family so as not to isolate yourself is incredibly important. Seek out legitimate places to educate yourself on what the disease is. Also be open to holistic approaches to help reduce inflammation in the body.”
Rimes’ confrontation with her own struggles inspired her latest album, Chant: The Human and the Holy, released on November 20. “It’s taken my whole journey to allow something like this to be birthed through me,” she said. “I wanted to be of service for something greater and to move forward without putting myself under my own limitations.” Speaking openly about herself also led to her starting her own podcast, Wholly Human, available now via iHeart Radio. “Finding my voice outside of music I think is truly one of my deepest lessons on the journey that I’m on at the moment,” she said.
One of the biggest hurdles for Rimes, and for anyone with psoriasis, is loving the skin you’re in. “Accepting my skin and loving myself within a breakout, not just when my skin is clear, that has been one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned, especially with my recent breakout, because I haven’t had to deal with a breakout like this for 16 years,” Rimes said. “It just makes my heart so happy to know that I was able to inspire someone to set themselves free, because that’s what it feels like I’m doing too, setting myself free.”