Kim Kardashian Has Psoriasis: What Is It?

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OMG -- Kim Kardashian has psoriasis.

Kim was diagnosed with the skin condition by her dermatologist on Sunday's episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" on E!. Her mom, Kris, also has the condition.

And while Kim is probably scared about walking down the aisle with red, rashy legs, there are a number of treatments -- including pills, injections and creams -- that could help control the condition. Plus, she's not alone -- the condition affects between 1 in 100 and 3 in 100 people, WebMD reported.

Psoriasis manifests as itchy, dry, red, flaky, thick patches of skin. It can also cause dandruff, nail changes (like yellow spots, nail thickening and dents on the surface) and genital lesions for men. Arthritis is also common.

The condition is usually hereditary, and most likely occurs because the immune system mistakes healthy cells for dangerous ones. It's most common in people ages 15 and 35, and it's not contagious.

There are five kinds of psoriasis, each of which has its own symptoms, which range from white blisters to pink-red spots accompanying the characteristic red, rashy skin. The most common kind -- plaque psoriasis -- produces silver-white scales that cover red, thick skin patches, the NIH reported.

Triggers for psoriasis include infections (like strep throat and upper respiratory infection), dry skin, skin injury, too much or too little sunlight, excessive alcohol consumption and stress.

Treatments aim to reduce inflammation and plaque formation (plaques being the name for the thick, red skin) by disrupting the skin-cell production cycle, the Mayo Clinic reported. There are a number of different creams, including corticosteroids and vitamin D analogues, that slow down that growth of skin cells. Other treatments include salicylic acid and coal tar.

Light therapy -- where the skin is exposed to controlled doses of ultraviolet light to kill cells and reduce inflammation -- as well as injected and oral drugs are also options for treating psoriasis.


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