Selena Gomez Embraces Her Kidney Transplant Scar in a New Photo

Selena Gomez didn’t always feel comfortable showing her scars. But in a new photo shared on Instagram, the actor, singer, and now beauty entrepreneur is flaunting the kidney transplant scar on her inner thigh.

“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” Gomez wrote on Instagram alongside the photo, in which she poses by a pool in a bathing suit. “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through…and I’m proud of that.”

Gomez revealed her kidney transplant in 2017 as part of her lupus treatment, SELF previously reported. “I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer,” she wrote on Instagram at the time. “I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs when the body’s immune system starts attacking its own tissues and organs, according to the Mayo Clinic. About half the people who have lupus develop kidney inflammation, the Mayo Clinic explains, which can lead to a condition called lupus nephritis. Symptoms of lupus nephritis include foamy urine, joint pain, swelling, and, in some cases, kidney failure, which may need to be treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant, the National Institutes of Health explain.

Gomez first spoke publicly about living with the condition in a 2015 cover story with Billboard. “I was diagnosed with [autoimmune disease] lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she said in the interview, addressing tabloid rumors about her stint in an Arizona rehab facility. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke. I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.’ But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

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