HGTV star Nate Berkus has been struggling psoriasis for nearly a decade and got candid about how dealing with the skin condition can be depressing and isolating.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory multisystem disease, which affects up to 3.2% of the U.S. population, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Assn. The condition develops when the body makes skin cells too quickly, causing cells to pile up and form visible patches or spots on the skin.
Berkus, 51, was diagnosed with psoriasis nine years ago and opened up about his history with it Tuesday in an interview with People.
The celebrity interior designer said that he often deals with rashes all over his face and body. While they aren’t painful, they’re typically “dry and uncomfortable” and can be induced by stress, which makes him more mindful of its triggers.
“It’s a bit of a bummer and it can be depressing,” the “Nate & Jeremiah by Design” co-host said. “I do all these things in life, try to be a good husband, try to be a good dad, try to eat well, I go to my personal trainers. I like to look good, I like to feel good in my own skin.
“So, this is not something that’s really within my control. It’s one of those things that I have to live with and it can be really frustrating and the outbreaks come at the most inopportune times, almost always.”
The former “Nate Berkus Show” host is one of many celebrities who have publicly discussed contending with psoriasis. Reality TV stars Kim Kardashian and Jonathan Van Ness, singers Art Garfunkel and LeAnn Rhimes, actor-model Cara Delevingne and “Scandal” star Katie Lowes are just a few.
Berkus further elaborated on the psychological toll chronic skin conditions can take, specifically the “frustrating and isolating” aspects.
“As somebody that is in the public eye — truth is, we’re all sort of in the public eye now with social media — it’s been really challenging to not be able to count on my appearance or the quality, the condition of my skin,” he said.
Berkus shared that he and his dermatologist, whom he has “on speed dial,” mastered a “successful” two-step treatment plan for him.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” alum — who is partnering on an awareness campaign with pharmaceutical company AbbVie — said he was surprised that some of his closest friends also have psoriasis or eczema but never discussed it with him. That, he said, moved him to be open and raise awareness about navigating chronic skin conditions.