Her truth. LeAnn Rimes suffered a psoriasis flare-up for the first time in more than a decade, leading her to open up about the condition.
The singer, 38, posed nude in photos taken by Sara Hertel, published by Glamour on Thursday, October 29, showing the skin disorder’s effects on her back and legs. The shots accompanied an essay about Rimes’ journey with psoriasis, which began when she was diagnosed at 2 years old.
“I tried everything I could to treat it: steroid creams, major medications — I even tried being wrapped in coal tar with Saran Wrap,” the Grammy winner told the magazine, describing how the condition affected her as a child star. “And when I was in public, I did everything I could to hide it. Onstage I’d often wear two pairs of pantyhose or jeans — even in 95-degree heat. Underneath my shirt, my whole stomach would be covered in thick scales that would hurt and bleed. For so much of my life, I felt like I had to hide.”
Rimes discovered a treatment in her 20s that helped her skin clear up. She reached a point where she stopped taking the shots two-and-a-half years ago, but the coronavirus pandemic caused problems.
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LeAnn Rimes is done trying to hide her psoriasis. It’s been 16 years since her last flare-up, but thanks to the stress of 2020, the 38-year-old singer’s skin condition has made an unexpected return. Link in bio to read why this time, Rimes refuses to keep it a secret. #WorldPsoriasisDay
“Then the beginning of this year happened,” she recalled. “All hell broke loose in the world — and inside of me, as I’m sure it did for so many other people amid the pandemic. Suddenly I went from doing what I love, and being surrounded by people, to just hanging around the house in sweats. Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, and with so much uncertainty happening, my flare-ups came right back.”
While Rimes has spoken out about her battle with psoriasis in the past, she believed people “thought I was making it up” because they had never seen evidence of a flare-up. “This is finally my time to be honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like,” she explained. “You know when you say something you’ve been holding in for so long, and it’s such a sigh of relief? That’s what these photos are to me. I needed this. … Being in our own bodies, we judge ourselves so harshly. But when I look at these photos, I see so much more than my skin.”
The actress then shared how posing nude allowed her to appreciate husband Eddie Cibrian’s perspective on her situation. “Before this shoot, my husband would look at me like, ‘I don’t even see that,’ which I obviously didn’t understand. I’d think, ‘How can’t you see it?! It’s all over me!’” she noted. “I think I see what he sees now.”
Rimes concluded by encouraging others to express their freedom to be themselves in the way she did: “I hope anyone who also kept themselves small has the courage to step outside of that cage. When we allow ourselves not to be held in, our lives come back to us.”