Cyndi Lauper’s psoriasis is something she has struggled with for years, but she is just now deciding to open up about the debilitating skin condition and how it has affected her life. She also hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others who are suffering from the skin disease.
The ’80s singer, known for her hits “Time After Time” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” recalls having such bad skin outbreaks caused by her psoriasis that she would simply fall into a depression and lay in the bed.
Lauper, 62, explained that she was first diagnosed with the skin condition after she started noticing her scalp was becoming increasingly irritated. While she originally blamed the issue on a “bad bleach job,” she later visited her doctor, who gave her a special shampoo to treat the irritations.
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“First, I thought I just had a really bad bleach job… I am a suicide blonde, after all,” Cyndi joked. However, within the next two years she would start noticing the red, scaly patches appearing all over her body.
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“My whole entire body was covered in a rash and scaly skin. And then it just started creeping up my neck. I felt swallowed by it,” Lauper said, according to People Magazine. “I tried every kind of natural cure I could. My immune system got a little wacky, and it took my strength away. My skin was so inflamed, it could not regulate hot and cold, so I had the chills all the time.”
Cyndi has done her best to try and conceal her psoriasis, wearing turtlenecks, long-sleeve shirts, and extensive makeup. However, it never fully hides the condition. She also started wearing wigs and hair extensions in bright colors to avoid the chemicals in dyes and steer the attention from her skin to her hair.
“I used to go to doctors who would say, ‘You’d be perfect for a study because that’s the worst thing we’ve seen in years,'” she said. “I’d think, ‘Oh God, gee, that’s great.'”
Cindy has since joined forces with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Novartis as part of their new information campaign, More to Psoriasis, to help bring awareness to the skin condition most people try so hard to hide.
“You don’t have to suffer in silence or live in pain,” says Lauper. “It’s not just a rash. It’s a disease.”
[Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images]