Throughout her 30-year career, Cyndi Lauper has inspired many people with her hit songs like "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." Today, the Grammy-, Tony- and Emmy Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress shows her true colors for a different reason: She has psoriasis and is speaking out about the physical, social and emotional effects of this condition.
Lauper was on tour when psoriasis first flared on her scalp. She'd just dyed her hair and initially thought the sores on her head were some type of bug. A doctor confirmed it was scalp psoriasis.
For a while, a shampoo kept it under control, but when Lauper scratched near her ear, there would be flakes.
"My poor stylist, I remember, she got me this shirt with spots all over it so you couldn't tell," Lauper said.
Her psoriasis changed into what Lauper thought was a rash, but then it started to spread. At one point, Lauper said, it felt like the psoriasis began to grow over her entire body. When it got really bad, she would just lay in bed.
Like many other people with psoriasis, Lauper struggled with the physical and emotional aspects of living with this chronic autoimmune disease.
"I had to work. So I stopped that….This was the heartbreak," she said. "I was about the go on tour with Cher for the Kinky Boots' build-up. It was really difficult because you are very sick and you're trying to work. And yet, everything you are wearing now is a turtleneck."
Inflammation covered Lauper's arms, legs and stomach. She had to use makeup to cover areas, especially after an outfit had been picked out for her Broadway musical Kinky Boots and she'd have a flare. "And of course they say, 'Don't wear tight clothes!' And I'm like, 'Yeah, right! I'm going to go out in a paper bag?' "