You’re likely familiar with Nate Berkus from his appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and HGTV, where he showcases his remarkable talent as an interior designer with a keen eye for aesthetics. However, what you might not be aware of is his private battle with the skin condition known as psoriasis.
Approximately a decade ago, Berkus experienced an unexpected and concerning development. He woke up one morning to discover flaking skin and rashes on his chin and the sides of his face, a distressing sight that left him taken aback.
Reflecting on that moment during a video call, he recalls, “It was quite noticeable. I wasn’t merely being overly self-conscious, given my role as a television host. My husband, Jeremiah Brent, pointed it out, saying, ‘What’s happening to your face?’ I responded, ‘What do you mean?’ When I looked in the mirror, I distinctly remember thinking, ‘Could this be an allergic reaction to something?’ The sudden onset of these symptoms truly caught me off guard.”
A few hours later, he promptly scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist, where he received both a diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan. Berkus discussed this experience during a panel discussion on Tuesday night as part of AbbVie’s Science of Skin initiative. This initiative not only provides valuable resources but also sheds light on how skin diseases impact a diverse range of individuals.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not everyone is fortunate enough to receive swift medical attention and treatment. Psoriasis, being a condition prone to flare-ups, can persist even with treatment and is often exacerbated by stress. Berkus candidly shared, “I had a flare-up just this morning, which feels strangely fitting after participating in the panel discussion last night.” This underscores the pressing need for increased awareness about a condition that affects more than 8 million people in the United States and a staggering 125 million individuals worldwide.
Nate Berkus Revealed how it effected him mentally
Nate Berkus has always placed a strong emphasis on connection during his television career. However, this pursuit of connection can become particularly challenging when he isn’t feeling connected within himself. He candidly explains, “In order to establish meaningful connections with others, you need to be outwardly focused, not fixated on your own appearance or inner struggles.” Berkus acknowledges that he often has to set aside his own emotional concerns, especially during periods when he doesn’t feel his best due to skin outbreaks. This can be a demanding and occasionally frustrating endeavor.
When seeking treatment for psoriasis, Berkus emphasizes the importance of finding a board-certified dermatologist who makes you feel comfortable, even when the situation isn’t life-threatening. He notes, “Is it a matter of life or death? No. Does it affect how I navigate the world? Absolutely. Is it an ongoing challenge for me to prevent it from impacting my daily life? Yes.”
Living with psoriasis, Dr. Cherry recommends practicing self-compassion and self-love as you navigate treatment. It’s crucial to understand that psoriasis is a chronic condition that may not completely disappear. Berkus has learned to accept it as a part of himself and no longer allows it to define his self-worth.
He shares, “When I experience flare-ups, I’ve learned not to be overly critical of myself. In the past, I used to isolate myself, avoiding social interactions, feeling ugly, and insecure. Nowadays, I embrace it as part of who I am, both in my work and my art. My art, in particular, revolves around preserving one’s inner child and letting that light shine.”
As for his relationship with his dermatologist, Berkus humorously mentions, “I have a fantastic rapport with my dermatologist. I even joked last night that I should probably consider filing a restraining order because I send her photos of everything, including vacation snapshots.” (Note: You might want to refrain from scrolling through their text exchanges.
soriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells. It is an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing them to multiply too quickly. This accelerated cell growth results in the formation of thick, red, scaly patches known as plaques on the skin. Psoriasis can affect people of all ages and can vary in severity, from mild to severe.
While the exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. Some common triggers and risk factors include:
- Genetics: Psoriasis tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition to the condition.
- Immune System Dysfunction: An overactive immune system is a key factor in psoriasis. T cells, a type of white blood cell, mistakenly attack healthy skin cells, triggering the rapid growth of skin cells and inflammation.
- Environmental Factors: Certain environmental factors, such as infections (particularly streptococcal infections), injuries to the skin (known as the Koebner phenomenon), and stress, can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis.
- Medications: Some medications, including certain blood pressure medications, antimalarial drugs, and lithium, can worsen or trigger psoriasis in susceptible individuals.
The symptoms of psoriasis can vary from person to person, but common signs and symptoms include:
- Red, Raised Skin Lesions: Plaques are typically red or pink and covered with silvery scales. They can appear anywhere on the body but are commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, and joints.
- Itching and Burning: The affected skin may itch, burn, or feel sore.
- Dry, Cracked Skin: Psoriasis can cause dry and cracked skin that may bleed.
- Nail Changes: Psoriasis can affect the nails, causing pitting (small dents), thickening, discoloration, and separation from the nail bed.
- Joint Pain: In some cases, psoriasis can lead to a condition called psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, various treatment options can help manage and control its symptoms. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and individual factors. Common treatment approaches include:
- Topical Treatments: These include creams, ointments, and lotions that are applied directly to the affected skin. They often contain corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, retinoids, or coal tar.
- Phototherapy: This treatment involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Phototherapy can help slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation.
- Oral Medications: For moderate to severe cases, oral medications such as methotrexate, cyclosporine, or oral retinoids may be prescribed to suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Biologics: These are newer medications that target specific parts of the immune system involved in psoriasis. Biologics are typically reserved for severe cases.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Managing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding triggers like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help control psoriasis.
- Moisturizers: Regular use of moisturizers can help alleviate dry skin associated with psoriasis.
It’s important for individuals with psoriasis to work closely with their healthcare providers to develop a personalized treatment plan. While there may be no cure, effective management can significantly improve the quality of life for people living with psoriasis.