“My life might look glam on the outside,” says Stassi Schroeder of Bravo TV’s “Vanderpump Rules” – “but my skin condition more often than not makes me want to hide.”
Stassi has psoriasis. Dermatologist Dr. Sonya Batra explains that “It’s a very common chronic autoimmune skin disease. It’s actually speeding up the cell turnover and the cycling of the cells, so you get these red, scaly, itchy, burning plaques.”
Psoriasis affects 7.5 million people, and there’s no cure: “I’ve been to so many different doctors and I feel like I’m told different things all the time,” shares Stassi. “There isn’t one answer.”
But Dr. Batra reassures her. “We can maintain it. We can make it better, we can handle the itching, we can handle the redness.” Stassi has tried steroid creams, and she says she’s noticed that stress makes it worse. Dr. Batra confirms that stress is a factor, and so is diet. One of Stassi’s triggers is red wine.
Because Stassi often has scalp flare-ups, Dr. Batra recommends oral medication or injections – although she notes the injections have more side effects than other treatments. Topical vitamin D and UV light therapy can also help.
“There are so many conditions in medicine that don’t have a cure,” concludes Dr. Travis Stork. “But that doesn’t mean you can’t manage it, and it doesn’t have to dominate your life.”