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Jessica Simpson’s life may look picture-perfect online, but the singer and fashion mogul has opened up about her private struggle with eczema left her nervous to show photos of herself to her closest friends.
In a new interview with Shape magazine, the 40-year-old star revealed that her lifelong struggle with painful skin condition intensified following the birth of her third child, Birdie Mae, in 2019.
“I’ve dealt with eczema since I was a kid. But after having my daughter Birdie, I had such bad flare-ups that I wouldn’t even show the pictures of me holding her to my friends,” Simpson said.
The inflammatory skin condition impacts approximately 17 per cent of Canadians and 30 per cent of Americans and can vary in severity and type. The most common symptoms of eczema are dry, itchy red patches of skin that can harden, crack, ooze and bleed from constant scratching. While some cases of eczema are caused by allergic reaction, others are hereditary or due to immunological factors that can cause a person to struggle with the condition throughout their lifetime.
Simpson is now a spokesperson for Eucrisa, a steroid-free topical skincare treatment, which she credits as helping treat her flare-ups. Although she has access to prescription medication, Simpson noted that she has been experimenting with over-the-counter creams and therapies.
“During this pandemic, I’ve gone down a skin-care rabbit hole, and I’ve been using a red-light therapy mask too,” she said. “I’m obsessed with doing red-light therapy treatments at home. I place the anti-inflammatory device everywhere on my body, including my scalp, stomach, and boobs.”
Red light therapy has been linked to helping heal skin, reduce scarring and even remove the signs of aging and wrinkles; something Simpson noted is a fringe benefit of the treatment.
“I have fewer wrinkles at 40 than I did at 38!” the star revealed.
Simpson’s health care rituals extend far beyond taking care of herself physically. The best-selling author of her memoir, “Open Book” told the magazine that she has been journalling to carve out some alone time where she can pause and reflect during lockdown.
“I started journaling after I wrote my book. It gets my thoughts out and lets me face them on paper,” Simpson said of her newfound grounding technique. “I know I can’t carry the weight of the world and all those thoughts all the time. After a busy day of taking care of everyone, this clears my mind so I can have a restful night of sleep.”
Baking Rice Krispie treats with her 8-year-old daughter, Maxwell Drew, has been a bright spot for her during lockdown as well as focusing on ensuring her entire family is happy during unprecedented times.
“Family is everything to me,” the star said. "More than anything, I want to teach them morals and values and to keep them safe but not afraid... When I hear my kids cackle, it's the most healing sound. It's contagious. My whole family starts giggling together, and it's like some form of happy laughing therapy.”
Simpson’s self-care rituals, no matter how big or small, have been crucial to maintaining her mental health as a working mother and wife.
“Otherwise, I take it one day and one moment at a time,” she said. “There’s power in knowing I made it through.”