When Kim Kardashian first found out she had psoriasis, a condition in which skin cells build up and form itchy, dry patches, she thought the scaly bumps would end her career. At least, that's what she said in a confessional on KUWTK. Years later, both Kim and Kris Jenner actively talk about their struggles with psoriasis, and both have tried just about everything to soothe their skin, both on and off camera.
For example, on this week's episode of KUWTK, Kris bottled up spring water from the fam’s trip to Costa Rica to use as a DIY treatment. This is just one of the many at-home treatment hacks we’ve seen over the years.
To find out which ones actually work, we turned to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. He explained that because psoriasis is a genetic autoimmune condition, there is no cure, but there are plenty of ways to help reduce inflammation with over-the-counter medicines and DIY remedies.
As for the spring water, Dr. Zeichner said that it isn’t so uncommon, and — get this — actually works. “High levels of minerals like selenium or sulfur may have calming effects. Dead sea water is particularly useful because of its high levels of magnesium salt, which reduces skin inflammation.”
Water is nothing compared to breast milk, though. In 2013, Kim used Kourtney’s breast milk on an episode of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami to remedy the psoriasis patches on her legs. It sounds crazy, but the lactic acid in milk actually has many skin benefits. Still, Dr. Zeichner says,“While breast milk may contain proteins that coat and soothe inflamed patches of psoriasis, it will not provide any significant relief."
When cortisone [shots] wear off, the psoriasis can paradoxically flare up, sometimes worse than when you started.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner
That's not all Kim has done. A couple years ago, the star admitted to getting cortisone injections in her butt, for the sole purpose of treating her psoriasis. This hack, though, has drastic consequences. Dr. Zeichner urges against these shots, stating, “First off, they rarely cause atrophy, or breakdown, of fat under the skin, and can lead to a dent or divot, which may be permanent. Secondly, when the cortisone wears off, sometimes the psoriasis can paradoxically flare up, sometimes worse than when you started.” Much more effective, he says, is prescription cortisone cream.
Finally, there is UV light therapy (which isn't the same as indoor tanning, BTW). Kim has said she uses sun beds, which is actually a successful treatment backed by the National Psoriasis Foundation when done under medical supervision with a phototherapy unit.
But remember, though the Kardashians are many things — reality stars, business moguls, models — no one in the family has a medical degree. So feel free to take lipstick hacks from them, but consult a doctor for all your skin needs.
Read these stories next: