Catwalk model, Cara Delevingne, confirmed this week that she suffers from psoriasis – a chronic, uncomfortable and often painful skin condition that causes silvery scaling, redness and itching of the skin. Rightfully so, Miss Delevingne has linked her flare-ups to stress, a known trigger for psoriasis.
“It only happened during the Fashion Weeks, which are, of course, the worst time of year for me to be covered in scabs… I was being painted by people to cover the scabs. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, and I’m sensitive”. Miss Delevingne said.
Cara Delevingne, 21, is not alone in her battle with psoriasis. It is a relatively common skin condition affecting at least 2% of the global population – and is also most likely to occur between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. In fact, other young celebrities such as Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and LeAnn Rimes are known sufferers of psoriasis. Psoriasis can be quite mild, but in certain individuals it is severe and can affect quality of life. Hopefully the model’s brave decision to speak up about her affliction will help others not to feel ashamed or embarrassed about seeking help.
What Is Psoriasis? And Does it Cause Hair Loss?
Psoriasis is a genetically determined disorder which results from too rapid cell turnover. While psoriasis usually occurs all over your body, it is most common on the elbows and knees. However, it can also crop up on the scalp and can be quite severe. Luckily psoriasis rarely causes hair loss, so Miss Delevingne, and others affected, should not become overly stressed or worried about losing their hair. There are also highly effective treatments available. At my Dubai clinic we soften and then remove the scales using creams I formulated with coal tar, sulphur and salicylic acid. Interestingly enough, psoriasis often clears up a bit in the summer months due to an increase in exposure to natural sunlight – moderated UV light therapy can be quite helpful.
In terms of Cara’s stressful job and lifestyle, this could aggravate and contribute to her condition: The exact cause of psoriasis is still a slight mystery, but certain illness, stress and food intolerances are all thought possible triggers.
However, DHD cautions that we do not self-diagnose as psoriasis can often be mistaken for other skin conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis or pityriasis amiantacea.
I frequently see cases in my consulting rooms when a young man or woman has been treating themselves for psoriasis when they in fact have something else. I applaud Miss. Delevingne for her candidness and bravery, but urge others not to self-diagnose from the pictures they see.
If you are concerned you have psoriasis or another skin condition affecting the scalp, please contact me for further advice.