LeAnn Rimes is “tired of hiding” her psoriasis.
The country music queen was diagnosed with the skin condition when she was just two years old and since then, Rimes has hidden behind the wavering self-confidence psoriasis can often inflict on its carrier.
But no more.
Rimes is changing the tide in the way psoriasis is openly discussed and made a huge step on Thursday when she shared her truth on World Psoriasis Day.
"I tried everything I could to treat it: steroid creams, major medications — I even tried being wrapped in coal tar with Saran Wrap," she recalled in a cover story for Glamour magazine. "And when I was in public, I did I everything I could to hide it.
"Onstage I’d often wear two pairs of pantyhose or jeans — even in 95-degree heat," Rimes added. "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."
The “Coyote Ugly” star, 38, shared nude images to her Instagram showcasing a recent psoriasis flare-up along with a message to others that she is “finally” embracing her condition.
“Music has been my gift, and why I’m here. But I want to give a voice to these other pieces of me,” she wrote. “And I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through. This is finally my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like.
For Rimes, the photo shoot and the fact she felt comfortable enough to openly speak out about her diagnosis came as a form of therapy.
“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,” Rimes said. “I needed this. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately. With today being World Psoriasis Day, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my story.”
The two-time Grammy winner, who won her first at just 14, said in her interview with Glamour that it was the stresses brought on by 2020 that caused her massive flare-up.
So much of my journey, both personally and within my creations, my new chant record and podcast coming out soon, has been excavating pieces that I’ve been hiding and bringing them to the light. It’s been and still is a journey of allowing them out and welcoming and reintegrating those fragments back into wholeness. Music has been my gift, and why I’m here. But I want to give a voice to these other pieces of me. And I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through. This is finally my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like. 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. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately. With today being World Psoriasis Day, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my story with @glamourmag, head to the link in my bio/ stories to read my full essay 💕 #worldpsoriasisday #psoriasis #psoriasisawareness #glamourmag #whatilivewith
"Suddenly I went from doing what I love, and being surrounded by people, to just hanging around the house in sweats," she explained. "Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, and with so much uncertainty happening, my flare-ups came right back."
She added that while the photo shoot was a strong step in the right direction, she still isn’t sure how it might affect her in her daily life.
"Will these photos change the way I live? Will I wear shorts out to the grocery store? I honestly don’t know," she said. "But what I do know is that it’s amazing how small we can keep ourselves. When you finally allow yourself to step outside of what you’ve been caging in, the whole world opens up. There’s freedom in even just putting one foot outside the door."
Rimes ended her remarks with a stout vote of confidence in others who may be at a crossroads with their own psoriasis.
"I hope anyone who also kept themselves small has the courage to step outside of that cage," she wrote. "When we allow ourselves not to be held in, our lives come back to us."