Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum recording artist LeAnn Rimes is going public about a long running skin condition and encouraging others to do the same.
Diagnosed at age two, the singer is helping launch a new awareness campaign, “Stop Hiding from Psoriasis” on behalf of the American Academy of Dermatology and National Psoriasis Foundation. The campaign’s goal is to dispel common misconceptions and encourage people to seek treatment.
People worldwide develop psoriasis. In the U.S., nearly 7.5 million people have psoriasis and about 150,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The chronic, non-contagious immune disorder speeds the growth cycle of skin cells and results in thick, scaly areas of skin. Psoriasis can occur in people of all ages, but it typically appears in patients between the ages of 15 and 35. The most common form, called plaque psoriasis, appears as red, raised areas of skin covered with flaky white scales that may itch or burn.
Rimes, 27, is an American singer-songwriter and actress, best known for her work in country music. She started her music career at age 13 and has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.
Rimes wants people to take a stand against psoriasis, and to learn how to manage it, by taking the “Make a Change Pledge” available at StopHiding.org. “The purpose of the pledge is to empower people living with psoriasis to make changes that can help them increase their understanding of the disease and its impact on their everyday lives, as well as encourage them to work with a dermatologist to optimally manage their disease,” said Rimes.
Rimes says she’s familiar with the physical and emotional toll psoriasis can bring. “As a performer in the public spotlight, coping with my psoriasis was scary and frustrating at times. I had to recognize how psoriasis was affecting many aspects of my life and commit to managing it.”
At StopHiding.org, people with psoriasis can join LeAnn in thinking about their personal priorities and the changes they would like to make to better manage their disease. Individual pledges range from “recognizing that psoriasis is a chronic immune disease” and “telling my dermatologist about all the ways psoriasis affects me” to “increasing psoriasis awareness by educating others about the condition” and “sharing my personal story and inspiring others to take control of their psoriasis,” among others.
Psoriasis is a chronic (lifelong) medical condition. While there is no cure, the condition can be managed. “Partnering with a dermatologist who treats psoriasis is an important step in developing an appropriate disease-management plan,” said dermatologist William D. James, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. “Psoriasis is a chronic immune disease that can impact patients, physically and emotionally, but with proper management, it doesn’t have to control a person’s life.”
EmpowHER Psoriasis Reference Page:
National Psoriasis Foundation: http://www.psoriasis.org/
Stop Hiding Campaign: http://www.stophiding.org/
About the author: Pat Elliott is a journalist and blogger who has written about health issues for more than 20 years. She is also a cancer survivor who coaches people on how to manage their transition and take control of their new future.