This Scandal Star Is Speaking Out About Her Psoriasis

Photo: Greg Gayne/ABC.
Katie Lowes, the actor who plays Quinn Perkins on Scandal, is opening up about her struggles with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Lowes is part of an initiative called Psoriasis: The Inside Story. The mission of the new effort is to talk not only about psoriasis affects the skin, but also how the disease can affect other areas of a person's life.
Lowes developed psoriasis about the same time she started starring on Scandal. It was a big time in her life, but it was also a stressful time and that stress contributed to her condition and her reluctance to seek help. "Simultaneously, the stress from planning my wedding, and being in the public eye for the first time, combined with genetics — I got the diagnosis that I had psoriasis, and I was completely embarrassed and ashamed," she said in an interview with the LA Times.
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In one of several video essays she has done for the Inside Story website, Lowe talks about the embarrassment and shame she felt about her skin. There's pressure to be perfect in Hollywood, she explains, and her less-than-perfect skin bothered her. She was even ashamed to go to the doctor because the doctor would have to look closely at her skin. Eventually, though, she had to, in her own words, grow up and be brave. She went to the doctor, got the proper diagnosis, and has been able to find an effective treatment for her psoriasis. She advises other to ask the hard questions and to challenge their doctors. She is her own best advocate and hopes others will be the same.
The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that more than eight million Americans are living with either psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. In addition to providing general information about the disease and management of it, the Foundation provides special resources for women who suffer from the disease to address unique challenges for women patients.
Like the attention that comes from Kim Kardashian West talking openly about her struggles with her psoriasis, Lowes hopes that she can help inspire others to take charge of their care, their skin, and their bodies. "I tell them that it's about being your own boss, and of not settling until they find whatever it is that works for them, and they have their life look the way they want it to," she said in her interview with the LA Times.
Correction: This story originally incorrectly categorized psoriasis as a chronic skin condition. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease.
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