Cyndi Lauper has psoriasis so bad that for years she felt like the Elephant Man as she revealed the full extent of her battle with the skin condition. Lauper has a secret struggle forced her to cover up her body from the neck down, according to People. Cyndi has been battling the problem for many years.
Lauper, 62, has a debilitating skin condition that often leaves her covered in a scaly rash, bed-ridden and depressed. Cyndi is breaking her silence on her lengthy battle with the disease.
In recent years, the True Colors singer has been seen with varying levels of irritated skin. In 2011, she was spotted at the Los Angeles International Airport with a red and sore-looking face, which was initially speculated to be the result of a chemical peel.
Cyndi Lauper’s psoriasis was also revealed last month on a beach in St Tropez, Southern France, when wore beachwear showing off her legs, which bore faint dark blotches consistent with the disease.
But it wasn’t until now, that her problem became so bad that it forced her to speak out over the condition, a revelation that she hopes will help fellow sufferers. She said it’s just a rash from the disease.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes cell build-up on the skin in the form of dry, itchy patches. She joined an informative campaign with the National Psoriasis Foundation to help others cope with the disease.
“During performances I have skin-colored fishnets that I wear to cover the redness and spots or I would wear long sleeves, leather pants. I also use makeup to cover my skin. When I would sweat, because I don’t stand still and sing, it would make the psoriasis even worse,” she said.
Lauper was first diagnosed with the condition after Lauper began experiencing irritation on her scalp, which the peroxide-blonde star initially put down to a “bad bleach job.” Cyndi was given a shampoo to treat her scalp, but within two years the dry, itchy blotches began to appear all over her body.
“My whole entire body was covered in a rash and scaly skin. And then it just stared creeping up my neck. I felt swallowed by it,” Lauper explained.
There is no single cause for psoriasis, but some known triggers, including injury to skin, infection and even stress. The latter of which the Time After Time singer ruled out as a cause for her flare up, saying her “whole job is stress.”
Lauper went on to try treatment after treatment in an attempt to relieve her symptoms. Cyndi was bedridden at times after her skin lost its ability to regulate temperature as she she tried to cover up the spots with make-up and turtleneck sweaters.
She also began wearing wigs and hair extensions in bright colors to both deflect attention from her skin and to avoid dyes that could irritate her scalp even further.
“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,'” Cyndi said. “I’d think, ‘Oh God, gee, that’s great.'”
Cyndi’s psoriasis condition began to affect her famous voice, sending her depression and stopping her performing career in its tracks. Lauper finally found her salvation in the form of a medication targeting the immune system, along with a regime of medicated creams and bath salts.
She avoids alcohol and foods that could inflame her condition such as strawberries, but Lauper now believes she has her condition is managed. The star has partnered with Novartis to promote their campaign, which provides a place for psoriasis sufferers to talk openly about their condition and find support.
Lauper is a singer, songwriter, actress and activist. Cyndi’s career has spanned over 30 years. Her 1983 debut solo album, She’s So Unusual, was the first debut female album to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned her the Best New Artist award at the 27th Grammy Awards in 1985.
“At Novartis, we are continually inspired by the courage of the psoriasis community who struggle with this isolating condition every day,” said Christi Shaw, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “By partnering with NPF and Cyndi, we want to unite the millions of Americans who have psoriasis through a message of empowerment and hope.”
Cyndi Lauper’s psoriasis was first diagnosed in 2010 after a minor breakout on her scalp. Cyndi has overcome her worst days with the condition and is now back on the road.