Vanessa Lachey Gets Candid about Her Longtime Health Struggle…and the #1 Key to Her Marriage

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Vanessa Lachey spoke with The Healthy @Reader's Digest about the skin condition that's impacted her confidence, and how both self-care and a healthy relationship take strength and commitment.

As an actor (NICS: Hawai’i), model and television host (Love Is Blind, The Ultimatum), Vanessa Lachey is used to having eyes on her. But sometimes, even celebs in the limelight struggle with attention.

Since she was young, Vanessa Lachey has battled hivesAccording to New York City board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, up to 20% of people in the U.S. are estimated to suffer from hives at some point in their lives. But despite a fifth of the country experiencing this condition, Lachey says the stigma about it can be almost as uncomfortable as the condition itself. 

In a new partnership with Allegra Hives, Lachey is sharing her message to foster greater acceptance and compassion around chronic skin problems. Lachey recently spoke with The Healthy @Reader’s Digest about her skin health practices, how she deals with the perception around her hives condition, and the one marriage habit she and husband Nick Lachey are mindful about to help them both feel confident and connected.

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‘Yeah, I got something on my face. What do you want to do about it?’

More than anything, Vanessa Lachey says hives are just uncomfortable. “Imagine having a bite on your ankle, but all over your body,” she says. “It can go from annoying to uncomfortable, to honestly, painful. I specifically have two very core memories of crying tears: one when I was eight, and one after Camden was born in October of 2021.”

“I would get them on my neck or chest, and people are like, ‘Oh, what’s wrong? What’s that?’” Lachey told The Healthy. “I’m like, ‘What? It’s a hive. But wait…is that gross to you?’ Then it started making me think, Gosh, people who have hives, why is it an ‘ew’ thing to some people?

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According to Lachey, that kind of reaction can be a hit to her confidence that she’s learned to push back at. “Especially for someone who’s on camera, as a 41-year-old mother of three, I’ve learned to let that part of it go. I’m like, ‘Yeah, I got something on my face. What do you want to do about it?’” 

Lachey has also found relief in treatments like Allegra Hives, which she says relieves itchiness, reduces the hives’ appearance and is non-drowsy, “which is a win, win, win, win, win” for a working woman like herself. “I can’t take anything that would make me drowsy while I’m on set, because I want to be firing on all cylinders, operating at 100%.” 

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Vanessa Lachey on the key to a healthy relationship

Between starring on NCIS: Hawai’i and co-hosting not one but two reality dating shows with her husband, Nick Lachey, it’s no wonder Vanessa has no interest in staying down. Love Is Blind and The Ultimatum aren’t just jobs for her; they’re a chance to share relationship wisdom. With 15 years and three children together, the Lacheys have worked to cultivate healthy habits. The biggest key, Vanessa says, is communication. “Not only communicating the negatives and needs, but acknowledging the good and thanking your partner for making the kids’ breakfast or making me my cup of coffee in the morning,” Lachey reflects. “Just as much as we like to communicate our issues, we also love to hear and communicate how things are going well.”

She says whether that’s through therapy or over the dinner table, the important part is to make sure both partners feel safe to speak their mind. 

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Lachey says both shows she and Nick host are great opportunities for couples to practice and build those skills. “That’s the beauty of Love Is Blind and the pods because we are focusing on the person, taking out the visual senses and all the external senses and just the communication factor to establish the foundation that is proven to be present for a lasting relationship,” she said. “Whether that’s a relationship with your friends, your children or your spouse. For Ultimatum it’s moreso understanding why one partner may be ready while the other isn’t—so it’s about communicating with each other as to why you guys aren’t on the same page.”

Lachey adds that personally, she has given an ultimatum—and that personal experience is exactly why she and Nick were excited to host the show. She says in one particular situation, he had one intention in mind, and she had another: “I think we both had the same goal but a different method on how we would get there,” she says.

 If your relationship reaches that point, Lachey suggests the way you talk about the ultimatum is the most important part. “It goes back to communication,” she says. “Instead of being close-minded, instead of ‘Here’s my ultimatum’ it’s, “Listen, I want to get married, but you’re scared.’ And addressing the why. Discussing what’s important to you, understanding why each other is coming from where they’re coming from. Moving forward will either be about making some sacrifices or deciding maybe we’re not meant to be.”

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Miranda Manier
Miranda is the Associate Editor for TheHealthy.com and The Healthy section of Reader's Digest magazine. Previously, Miranda was a producer at WNIT, the PBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana; and the producer in residence for Minneapolis TV news KARE 11, where she won an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Award for producing gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial. Miranda also interned at Chicago’s PBS station, WTTW, and worked as the managing editor at the Columbia Chronicle at Columbia College. Outside of work, Miranda enjoys acting, board games, and trying her hand at a good vegan dessert recipe. She also loves talking about TV—so tell her what you’re watching!