Kim Kardashian revealed she has psoriasis on Sunday, when her diagnosis with the disease featured in an episode
of her show, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."
She joins an exclusive club of celebs with the autoimmune disorder, including golfer Phil Mickelson, comedian Jon Lovitz, musician LeeAnn Rimes and “What Not to Wear” host Stacy London. All four have figured in awareness and/or product advertising around the condition, and Kardashian's publicist's inbox is doubtless crammed with inquiries from the manufacturers of psoriasis treatments.
“We're trying to get to her, but she's quite well-protected,” said Catie Coman, director of communications for the National Psoriasis Foundation, which has participated in a number of pharma-sponsored educational campaigns featuring celebs, including: Janssen's Serious About Psoriasis
effort with Lovitz and Fit In Your Skin
with celebrity trainer Jackie Warner; Abbott's Stop Hiding campaign with Rimes
and Psoriatic Arthritis Total Health with London; Amgen/Pfizer's On Course With Phil
featuring Mickelson; and the foundation's own effort with model CariDee English
, who has since signed on with Janssen, as well as a PSA
with Olympic swimmer Dara Torres.
Kardashian brings to the awareness-raising party her nine million Twitter followers.
“She's huge,” says Coman. “We're just so happy she was brave enough to come out with psoriasis and talk about it on her show.”
In the episode, Kardashian visits her dermatologist to talk about some rashy spots that have had the entertainment blogs abuzz, saying her sister Khloe thought it was ringworm. “I can not have psoriasis,” she says. “My career is doing ad campaigns and swimsuit photo shoots. 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.” Told that leading a slower-paced life could help control it, she says “That's just not possible.”
Kardashian's mother, Kris Jenner, has the disease, which is hereditary and affects as many as 7.5 million Americans.