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'Queer Eye' Star Jonathan Van Ness Nails the Struggle of Giving Up Foods to Manage Your Illness


As the hair and beauty guru on Netflix’s reboot of “Queer Eye,” Jonathan Van Ness counsels men on their grooming needs. Behind the scenes, Van Ness also deals with his own health and skincare challenges due to psoriasis. He recently opened up about the conflict many people with chronic illnesses must navigate when they have to decide which changes they’ll make to their diet and lifestyle — which isn’t always an easy decision.

In an interview with Allure published Friday, Van Ness said he had his first psoriasis flare-up when he was 23, which took five doctors to diagnose. He now treats it with a steroid cream, but said weather triggers flare-ups. “I have it really bad on my elbow right now and sometimes when she’s like that, nothing is going to do anything. She’s just like, ‘This is my truth.’ And that’s that,” he said.

He said though he has come to a place of acceptance and he’s “used to her” going up and down, he does struggle with the changes he could make in order to treat it — changes he wouldn’t ordinarily be on board with.

But, I do sometimes think about how, like, I’ve read so much about how nightshades can affect it, and tomatoes and eggplants and stuff can be hard on it. So many people have said so many different things like, “Oh, well, you could try cutting out this or giving up that,” and sometimes I’m like, “I just really wanna eat Taco Bell,” you know? I don’t wanna try so many things.

Earlier this month, Van Ness posted an Instagram photo revealing that he has psoriasis, which he told Allure he was inspired to share after a jacket he put on at a photo shoot triggered a flare-up.

“I was going to start FaceTuning the spots out, but then I was like, ‘No, I’m just gonna post it. Your body is fierce, it’s cute, it’s fine, and the more people that know about psoriasis, the more you’ll stop having to tell cute guys about it when you take your top off,'” he said.

He encouraged others with psoriasis to get second opinions. He said he spent months using antihistamines and antibiotics that made him feel drowsy and “messed up” his stomach before he found a treatment that worked for him.

“If I had to do it over again, I would have been a lot more aggressive about getting a second and third opinion a lot faster,” he said.

Lead photo courtesy of Jonathan Van Ness’s Instagram.