Cyndi Lauper has made millions of fans feel good with her chart-topping songs like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “True Colors.” Now she wants to help people with psoriasis feel good — or at least better. That’s why she’s talking openly her own psoriasis.
The AAD recently met up with Lauper to ask how she manages her psoriasis given her breakneck schedule. Lauper shared tips about how she:
- Manages stress (a common psoriasis trigger)
- Finds time to take care of herself
- Picked herself up after bouts with severe psoriasis
Stress relief comes in many forms
Lauper confessed, “I’ve never been able to really manage stress.” Despite this admission, she has many go-to techniques for relieving stress both at home and on the road. She studied reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation. “That helps me,” Lauper said.
These days, she finds that yoga and walks keep her grounded. She works with a yoga instructor. “When everything seems to go haywire,” Lauper recommends, “taking a walk in the fresh air.” She walks her dog. She walks with her husband.
On the road, she also relies on meditation. During our interview, she recalls listening to a recording of Pema Chödrön, an American who is a Tibetan Buddhist nun and meditation guru. Lauper says, “Chödrön has a great voice. She even made the goldfish in the hotel calm down.”
Recently, her manager recommended the meditation app from Russell Simmons.
Breathing is also really important for relieving stress. Taking a few slow, deep breaths can help you feel better. You can do it anywhere. When Lauper feels upset, she tells herself, “Okay, just breathe.”
Make time for yourself
“It’s not a bad thing to take care of yourself,” Lauper says. She encourages everyone who has psoriasis “to make a little time for you.” She knows, “It’s a busy, busy world we live in, but how long does it take to put on cream [moisturizer or medicine] or take a bath?”
You can start small. “How about 5 minutes for you?” she added.
Lauper has found time to care for herself while maintaining her popstar life. Sometimes, she gets up earlier to fit in yoga. Though she admits that prefers the quiet of the nighttime. She carves out time for walks, meditation, and self-care.
This hasn’t slowed her down. Since her diagnosis in 2010, which included bouts with severe psoriasis, she wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway hit musical “Kinky Boots.” Her work earned her the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Lauper is the first woman to win a Tony in that category. She also has an album coming out in May.
Making time for others is also a priority in Lauper’s life. She is a wife and mother.
She also makes time to raise awareness of issues that “aren’t so popular.” Psoriasis, she feels, is one of these issues.
That’s why she talks openly about her psoriasis. She wants to inspire others living with psoriasis to get medical help. She offers lifestyle tips to encourage others to better manage their psoriasis.
Lauper also continues to raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues.
You can pick yourself up after a bad bout with psoriasis
“When psoriasis gets really bad, it’s really hard to get up again,” Lauper revealed. At one point, psoriasis covered most of her body. She said, “It looked like someone threw boiling water on me.” She couldn’t regulate her body temperature, so she felt chilled all the time. She was exhausted. She stayed in bed to rest. The psoriasis worsened.
She was miserable. She understands how awful psoriasis can make someone feel. She felt that no one understood. People would say, “It’s just a rash.”
She says, “It’s important to know that you’re not alone.” In the United States, 7.5 million people live with psoriasis. If you don’t want to talk with anyone, go online. Get information. Read personal stories.”
“You don’t have to suffer,” Lauper says. Treatment is available. A dermatologist can talk with you about a lot of avenues for dealing with it.
Just do it!
Once you know what to do, you just have to do it. She works hard to keep her psoriasis under control. Aside from using medication, she takes good care of herself. She’s learned what triggers her psoriasis. Alcohol and spicy foods are big triggers for her, so she avoids them.
Lauper hopes that the next time you feel down about your psoriasis or stressed out, you’ll do something to help yourself feel better.
You might even ask yourself, “What would Cyndi Lauper do?”