SKIM's founder Kim Kardashian has been open about her psoriasis journey for years, often sharing pictures of her skin during flare-ups on social media. The common autoimmune disorder causes the body to make new skin cells in days instead of the typical cycle that takes weeks, resulting in dry, scaly flakes.
Kardashian even attributed a recent psoriasis flare-up to a diet change she made in her famed attempt to fit into Marilyn Monroe's iconic gown for the 2022 Met Gala.
But multi-hyphenate reality stars aren't the only ones dealing with the flaky skin condition, which affects about 7.5 million Americans.
U.K.-based TikToker and influencer Rosie Daniels has been sharing her psoriasis journey online as a way to raise awareness for the condition.
"This is my chance to do as much as I can to try and spread the word about how common this condition is," she tells Yahoo Life.
Daniels' TikTok, which she shares with her boyfriend Harry, has over 4 million followers and primarily features couple-related content including trends and dances. Most people wouldn't necessarily choose to open up about an autoimmune disorder on social media, but the decision was a no-brainer for Daniels.
"We share a lot about just our general life, so obviously, I thought it was a major part of my life. So I'm going to share this online," she says.
Daniels' psoriasis flare-ups began when she was 12 years old and primarily affected her scalp. "I was actually living in Australia at the time. I started to see some red patches at the back of my scalp," she says. The flare-ups on her scalp continued for about seven years, and then began to spread.
"When I was 19, I started to actually get a few different patches of psoriasis on my stomach," Daniels says. "They were really small, like literally the size of a coin, and I didn't really think anything of it. I just kind of thought, 'Oh, they'll just disappear.'" But they didn't.
Instead, she says, "They just got worse and worse." Daniels adds: "My skin has slightly cleared a little bit as to what it was, but around six months ago, my skin was at its absolute worst and it covered around 90% of my body."
Her videos on the topic range from trying out psoriasis remedies to answering frequently asked questions. One video of her boyfriend drawing petals on her psoriasis patches and turning them into "flowers" has gotten over 14 million views.
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease with no cure, topical treatments can only manage symptoms.
"I've tried different diets. I've tried different supplements. I've tried Chinese herbal medicine. I've spent thousands upon thousands of pounds on trying to find different treatments that will work for me and be the healthiest, but I haven't actually found anything that's 100% cleared my skin," she says.
One of the most common questions Daniels gets asked is about the level of discomfort she experiences from the psoriasis patches, which she compares to the feeling of a severe sunburn.
"My whole body feels like it's on fire, like it's burning," she says. "To the point where I can't lay down in bed sometimes at night because it hurts so much."
Even simple tasks can be difficult during particularly bad flare-ups. "Bending like down to tie my shoes, because my skin's kind of like creasing, [it] literally feels like my skin is being like ripped apart or like someone's poured like acid on me and it's burning so bad," she says.
Showing your skin at its most vulnerable to an audience of over 4 million is a reasonably frightening venture, but Daniels says the feedback she has received has been surprisingly positive.
"Because I've shared that whole journey, people that have followed us from the start and kind of seen our journey have just known me with that condition. So they've never questioned it and they've always been there to support me," says Daniels, who shares that she's immensely grateful for the community she has built on TikTok.
"We've created such a huge audience that are literally so supportive, like I never even have the words to explain how much I appreciate how supportive everyone online has been toward me." She adds: "I have never received hate because of my skin."
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