WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — With her pink tresses and eye-catching stage costumes, pop culture icon Cyndi Lauper was never one to hide. But that’s exactly what she wanted to do when she developed psoriasis, which spread to most of her body and sapped her strength before the skin disorder was controlled.
Appearing first on her scalp and later covering everything except her face, psoriasis struck Lauper in 2010 while the Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning singer-songwriter — famous for 1980s’ hits such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Time After Time” — was on tour. She soldiered through appearances despite crushing exhaustion and an inability to regulate her temperature, which left her zigzagging between hot and cold.
Psoriasis isn’t just a cosmetic issue, though it often leads to embarrassing physical symptoms. About 7.5 million people in the United States are affected by plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the autoimmune disease, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Marked by silvery, red skin plaques along with flaking, itching, scaling and bleeding, psoriasis has also been shown to raise the risks of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression.
“It’s not a rash, it’s an inflammatory disease and could lead to other problems,” emphasized Lauper, whose second album in 1986, “True Colors,” included the number-one single of the same name.
“Right now, cosmetology is the rage, and I love it, too, obviously. But when you have psoriasis, you have to research what’s best for you,” she added.
A longtime advocate for equality, Lauper founded the True Colors Fund in 2008 to end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. She’s now extending her advocacy efforts to the psoriasis community through a campaign with pharmaceutical company Novartis.
Lauper, whose albums have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, tried many psoriasis treatments over the years, including alternative therapies and several that didn’t lessen her symptoms. She now takes a biologic drug that effectively controls her disease, but acknowledges that each psoriasis patient’s approach to finding relief may vary.
Current psoriasis treatments range from topical skin creams and ointments to ultraviolet light therapy to biologic drugs that dampen overactive immune responses.
“I’m better now, I found a solution, but my solution may not be someone else’s solution,” said Lauper, who won a Tony Award in 2013 for writing the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots.”
“You’ve got to really do your research,” she said. “One thing I’ve found from others who had it was that they didn’t give up. They didn’t stop questioning and researching until they found something that works.”
Celebrities such as Lauper who go public about their experiences with chronic illness can help raise awareness about their particular disease and its treatments, said Dr. Jeffrey Weinberg, a former medical board member of the National Psoriasis Foundation.
“Obviously we live in a culture where celebrity is given attention, whether it be advertising or disease awareness or marketing,” said Weinberg, who is also an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
“I think it’s able to help people say, ‘If that person has and they’re able to deal with it, I can also,’ ” he added. “Maybe they wouldn’t have thought that celebrities or people who are well-off deal with the same problems they have.”
Lauper’s upcoming projects include writing the score for the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 feature film “Working Girl” and contributing a song to the score of the Broadway musical “SpongeBob SquarePants.” She recently wrote a song, “Hope,” that depicts her own experiences with psoriasis and those of others who struggle with the same disease.
The American Academy of Dermatology has more about psoriasis.
- Cyndi Lauper showcases backstage psoriasis woes in Novartis’ new Cosentyx spot
- Novartis collaborates with pop icon Cyndi Lauper to release new song in honor of World Psoriasis Day
- Kim Kardashian Reveals Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis—Here’s What That Means
- What is psoriatic arthritis, exactly?
- Kim Kardashian’s Psoriasis Journey: See the Star’s Most Candid Never-Before-Seen Photos
- How Kim Kardashian Handles Her Psoriasis
Cyndi Lauper showcases backstage psoriasis woes in Novartis’ new Cosentyx spot
Cyndi Lauper is back to star in another round of Novartis’ psoriasis marketing.
The ’80s pop music icon, who in 2015 partnered with the Swiss pharma giant and the National Psoriasis Foundation on a disease-awareness push, appears with two other real-life patients in Novartis’ latest Cosentyx spot.
RELATED: Novartis goes ’80s with Cyndi Lauper-led psoriasis campaign
“It was tough getting out there on stage,” she narrates, as the camera shows her in her dressing room, trying to disguise her psoriasis with spray makeup—and failing. The commercial weaves Lauper’s story with those of two other patients, shown struggling with unwanted attention as people around them stare at the red, flaky skin patches caused by the disease.
But the video spot takes a triumphant turn after Lauper declares that “I found something that worked and keeps on working.”
“Never give up,” she urges viewers, adding, “clear skin can last” as she rocks out on stage and then walks into a crowd of adoring fans.
RELATED: Novartis bolsters its home-turf advantage in psoriasis with Cosentyx DTC push
The new work is part of Novartis’ “See Me” campaign, which the company launched last year to “play well with this patient base and further grow the brand,” as then-pharma chief David Epstein told investors on an early 2016 conference call.
The new spot comes in the face of some new competition. Since the Basel-based drugmaker rolled out its first DTC effort in psoriasis, Eli Lilly’s Taltz, Valeant’s Siliq and, most recently, Johnson & Johnson’s Tremfya have arrived on the next-gen psoriasis scene. Those rivals didn’t stop Cosentyx from cracking the blockbuster barrier, though; it racked up $1.13 billion worldwide in 2016.
And as Johnson & Johnson execs recently reassured their own investors, there’s still plenty of market share to go around. “We believe it’s only about 25% to 30% of the patients in that category are actually on some of the newer agents,” CEO Alex Gorsky said. “So that in and of itself represents a significant opportunity.”
Novartis collaborates with pop icon Cyndi Lauper to release new song in honor of World Psoriasis Day
EAST HANOVER, N.J., Oct. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Novartis announced today that Grammy, Tony and Emmy award-winning singer, songwriter, actress and activist Cyndi Lauper has released a new song, Hope, in honor of World Psoriasis Day. Inspired by psoriasis patients and Lauper’s own experience living with the disease, Hope is part of the SEE ME campaign, an initiative that celebrates patients’ success stories and encourages others living with plaque psoriasis to seek ways to get back to doing the things they want to do.
“I have met many people living with psoriasis and drew inspiration for the song from their stories of struggle, courage, perseverance and hope,” said Lauper. “I know first-hand the impact psoriasis can have and my goal is to give a voice to the millions of Americans who may struggle with their psoriasis. We don’t need to hide, and we don’t need to feel embarrassed.”
An estimated 7.5 million Americans are affected by psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory condition which is considered the most common autoimmune disease in the US1,2. Like many patients, Lauper hid her psoriasis and struggled for many years to find a treatment that worked for her. Now, she is sharing her story to demonstrate the impact that plaque psoriasis has had on her life, and why she saw a dermatologist and made the decision to start treatment with Cosentyx® (secukinumab), the first IL-17A antagonist approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis3.
“Plaque psoriasis symptoms like flaking, scaling and bleeding can have a significant impact on a patient’s daily life,” said Dr. Jeffrey Weinberg, Associate Clinical Professor, Dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City and Lauper’s personal dermatologist. “I encourage all people with psoriasis to speak with a dermatologist who specializes in the disease to find a treatment plan that works for them.”
“It took me a long time to get to where I am today, but I made it – and so can others who are struggling with psoriasis,” said Lauper.
The song and music video for Hope are available to stream on the SEE ME campaign microsite, SEEMEtoknow.com. Additional content includes webisodes featuring Cyndi Lauper and other patients providing a more in-depth look at life with psoriasis.
Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award-winning artist with over 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums. With her first album, She’s So Unusual, Lauper won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and became the first female in history to have four top-five singles from a debut album. Since then, Lauper has released ten additional studio albums, been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and celebrated as a New York Times best-selling author. Overall, during her storied music career, Lauper has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards. In 2013, Cyndi Lauper became the first solo woman to win Best original score for her music and lyrics for Kinky Boots. Next, she’ll write the score for the Broadway adaptation of the 1988 feature film Working Girl, contribute a song to the score of the Broadway musical Spongebob Squarepants and launch her own fashion line with Home Shopping Network.
Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious, auto-immune disease that affects more than 125 million people worldwide1. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells1.
Psoriasis is not simply a cosmetic problem, but a persistent, chronic (long-lasting), and sometimes distressing disease, which can affect even the smallest aspects of people’s lives on a daily basis4. Up to 30% of patients with psoriasis may have PsA1. PsA is a condition in which the joints are also affected, causing debilitating symptoms including pain, stiffness and for some people, irreversible joint damage1. Psoriasis might also be associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression4.
Cosentyx® (secukinumab) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that involves large areas or many areas of the body, and who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet or UV light, alone or with systemic therapy).
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not use Cosentyx if you have had a severe allergic reaction to secukinumab or any of the other ingredients in Cosentyx. See the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients.
Cosentyx is a medicine that affects your immune system. Cosentyx may increase your risk of having serious side effects such as:
Cosentyx may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections.
- Your doctor should check you for tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with Cosentyx.
- If your doctor feels that you are at risk for TB, you may be treated with medicine for TB before you begin treatment with Cosentyx and during treatment with Cosentyx.
- Your doctor should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during treatment with Cosentyx. Do not take Cosentyx if you have an active TB infection.
Before starting Cosentyx, tell your doctor if you:
- are being treated for an infection
- have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back
- have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB
- think you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection such as:
- fevers, sweats, or chills
- muscle aches
- warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body
- diarrhea or stomach pain
- shortness of breath
- blood in your phlegm
- weight loss
- burning when you urinate or urinate more often than normal
After starting Cosentyx, call your doctor right away if you have any signs of infection listed above. Do not use Cosentyx if you have any signs of infection unless you are instructed to by your doctor.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
New cases of inflammatory bowel disease or “flare-ups” can happen with Cosentyx, and can sometimes be serious. If you have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), tell your doctor if you have worsening disease symptoms during treatment with Cosentyx or develop new symptoms of stomach pain or diarrhea.
Serious Allergic Reactions
Serious allergic reactions can occur. Get emergency medical help right away if you get any of the following symptoms: feeling faint; swelling of your face, eyelids, lips, mouth, tongue, or throat; trouble breathing or throat tightness; chest tightness; or skin rash. If you have a severe allergic reaction, do not give another injection of Cosentyx.
Before starting Cosentyx, tell your doctor if you:
- have any of the conditions or symptoms listed above for infections
- have inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- are allergic to latex. The needle caps contain latex.
- have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). People who take Cosentyx should not receive live vaccines.
- have any other medical conditions
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Cosentyx can harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor should decide if you will use Cosentyx.
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Cosentyx passes into your breast milk.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the- counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of your medicines to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
How should I use Cosentyx?
See the detailed Instructions for Use that comes with your Cosentyx for information on how to prepare and inject a dose of Cosentyx, and how to properly throw away (dispose of) used Cosentyx Sensoready® pens and prefilled syringes.
- Use Cosentyx exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
- If your doctor decides that you or a caregiver may give your injections of Cosentyx at home, you should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject Cosentyx.
Do not try to inject Cosentyx yourself, until you or your caregiver has been shown how to inject Cosentyx by your doctor or nurse.
The most common side effects of Cosentyx include: cold symptoms, diarrhea, and upper respiratory infections. These are not all of the possible side effects of Cosentyx. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Please see the full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide here.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures; general economic and industry conditions, including the effects of the persistently weak economic and financial environment in many countries; safety, quality or manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Kim Kardashian Reveals Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosis—Here’s What That Means
Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images
Over the past few weeks, Kim Kardashian West’s health has been at the forefront of the newest season of her show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians. And while a specific diagnosis for Kardashian’s symptoms was up in the air for a while, the reality TV star and businesswoman finally has an answer to what’s been ailing her.
In Sunday night’s episode of KUWTK, Kardashian had an ultrasound done on the joints in her hands, a procedure done after her blood test results were positive for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis antibodies. (Quick FYI: Just because someone tests positive for those antibodies, doesn’t mean they definitely have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis).
After the ultrasound, Kardashian’s doctor confirmed that she did not have lupus or rheumatoid arthritis—but she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints. “I’m so relieved,” she said, after getting her results. “The pain is going to come and go sometimes but I can manage it and this is not going to stop me.”
RELATED: Kim Kardashian West Say Psoriasis Has ‘Taken Over’ Her Body—Dermatologists Say These Products Could Help
What is psoriatic arthritis, exactly?
First, you need to remember another important part of this story: Kardashian also has psoriasis, which is linked to psoriatic arthritis. She was diagnosed with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease, in 2010 when her mom, Kris Jenner recognized the rash on her daughter’s legs. Psoriasis in general affects up to 7.5 million people in the US, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and often presents as raised red, white, or silvery patches on the skin.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), about 30 percent of people with psoriasis will go on to develop psoriatic arthritis—typically 10 years after psoriasis is first diagnosed. The chronic, inflammatory disease is caused by a malfunctioning immune system, which creates inflammation in the joints which can lead to swelling, pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
RELATED: Kim Kardashian Just Tested Positive For Lupus Antibodies—But What Does That Mean?
There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis, per the NPF, but treatments, like steroids, are available to help stop the disease progression, lessen pain, protect joints and preserve range of motion. Left untreated, however, psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage, which is why it’s so important for those with the condition to work closely with their rheumatologist to find a treatment plan that works best for them.
Apparently, Kardashian has already found a treatment plan that work for her, according to an interview with Today before the episode aired. “I unfortunately had to be put on medication to stop the symptoms,” she said. “I tried everything natural for the longest time and we chose the best route for me so luckily right now everything is under control.”
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Kim Kardashian’s Psoriasis Journey: See the Star’s Most Candid Never-Before-Seen Photos
Kim Kardashian West has never shied away from opening up about her psoriasis flare-ups, which she’s dealt with for the past 13 years. Now, the star, 38, is revealing more about her ordeal than ever before with never-before-seen photos and a detailed new essay on Kourtney Kardashian‘s lifestyle site, Poosh.
Despite seeing her mom, Kris Jenner, deal with her own psoriasis struggle, Kardashian West admitted that she truly “had no idea what my life would be like dealing with an autoimmune disease.” While Jenner found that the UV rays from a tanning bed would ease her flare-ups, that wasn’t the case for Kardashian West.
“That remedy would burn the areas and cause them to itch, so I always felt helpless. I am the only child my mom passed down her autoimmune issue to. Lucky me,” the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star wrote.
Image zoom A never-before-seen photo of Kim Kardashian’s psoriasis flared up on her leg. Poosh/Kim Kardashian
Kardashian West first noticed her psoriasis when she was 25 years old. “It was all over my stomach and legs,” she said. Luckily, the star turned to a dermatologist who lived in her apartment complex to give her a shot of cortisone (in his office), which kept the skin condition away for about five years.
Image zoom Kim Kardashian West shares another photo of her psoriasis with Poosh. Poosh/Kim Kardashian
But her “real psoriasis journey” began in 2010 after noticing her skin was very itchy at the New York City opening of the now-closed DASH boutique. “I thought that my skin was just sensitive toward the dress’s material,” Kardashian West said. “Then I came home to L.A. for Mason’s first birthday party and my mom looked at my leg and said it was definitely psoriasis.”
Image zoom Kim Kardashian West at the DASH New York store opening when she noticed psoriasis on her legs. Joe Kohen/WireImage
For the past eight years, Kardashian West noticed that her flare-ups would be quite “unpredictable,” but would often show up “consistently” on her lower right leg.
Image zoom Kim Kardashian/Instagram
“I have learned to live with this spot without using any creams or medication—I just deal. Sometimes I cover it up and sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t really bother me,” she wrote.
RELATED: Everything Kim Kardashian Has Ever Said About Her Battle with Psoriasis
Kardashian West actually launched a KKW Beauty Body Foundation earlier this year inspired her time covering up her psoriasis for red carpet events, but says she also feels comfortable letting it show.
Image zoom Kim Kardashian/Instagram
“I’ve become extremely comfortable with my psoriasis. No matter where it is on my body, sometimes I am fine with showing it off,” she said. “If you have psoriasis, you can’t let it ruin your life or get the best of you. You have to do what you can to make sure you are comfortable but not let it take over”
For more candid photos of Kardashian West’s psoriasis flare-ups, read her full essay on Poosh.
How Kim Kardashian Handles Her Psoriasis
Kim Kardashian has been open about her struggle with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin, ever since she was first diagnosed in 2010. Now, in a new blog post on her website, “Living with Psoriasis,” she shares what it’s like dealing with the skin disease on a daily basis.
As Kim (accurately) explains in her post, scientists believe that at least 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis. However, only two percent to three percent of the population actually develop the symptoms, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. (“BTW, thanks for this amazing disease, Mom!!!,” Kim writes of Kris, who also has the condition.)
In total, approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, and while there is no cure for psoriasis, as we previously reported, certain lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and staying out of the sun, can help reduce psoriasis flare-ups. (Kim says that she uses a topical cortisone every night before bed, and gets a cortisone shot every few years to help with the inflammation.) And, as Kim also explains, there are certain acidic foods, like tomatoes and eggplant, you should avoid to help prevent flare-ups.
“Still, everyone with psoriasis has different symptoms; sometimes the rashes are itchy, sometimes they’re flaky. Mine flares up from time to time for different reasons,” she says. Kim’s right: Symptoms do vary between individuals. Generally, though, they are the following, according to the Mayo Clinic: Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales; dry, cracked skin that may bleed; itching, burning or soreness; thickened, pitted or ridged nails; swollen and stiff joints.
While for some psoriasis is just an annoying skin condition, for others it can be truly disabling, especially when associated with arthritis. Not to mention, it’s been linked to other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression, which is why treatment is so important.
“I’m always hoping for a cure, of course, but in the meantime, I’m learning to just accept it as part of who I am,” she says. “I have that one patch on my right leg that is the most visible. I don’t even really try to cover it that much anymore. Sometimes I just feel like it’s my big flaw and everyone knows about it, so why cover it?”
If you think you might have symptoms of psoriasis, check out Psoriasis.org for more info on treatment options (and to see photos of the five types of psoriasis) and be sure to see your doctor or a dermatologist.
- By Kylie Gilbert @KylieMGilbert