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A woman stands in a changing room holding up a yellow blouse, a black blouse is on a hanger behind her with a heart around it

Clothes Shopping When You Have Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be a very visible condition. If you have it on your face, for example, you may want to find something to hide it or if you have it on your arms and legs, you may want to wear long-sleeved shirts or trousers to stop people staring, making comments or asking you about it.

Finding clothes that don't irritate my skin

When my psoriasis was particularly bad, I was like this. I spent time in shops finding light-colored clothing, such as white T-shirts or beige sweatshirts, so when my flakes fell I wouldn’t have the embarrassment of someone noticing. I generally wore trousers so it would hide my legs, even when the weather was very hot. It made going out difficult when the weather was good because I would get so hot.

This or That

Do you find it difficult to shop for clothes with psoriasis?

There’s also an issue when shopping finding clothes which don’t irritate your skin when you’re out and about. You don’t want to purchase something which rubs against your psoriasis lesions or makes them even itchier. Cotton has been good for me, but always try on your clothes if you can before you buy them. Logos on t-shirts I can find to be particularly bothersome because they would rub against the patches on my chest which would make itch like crazy and I would find the whole thing very uncomfortable.

If your patches bleed, you may feel embarrassed about blood patches being on your clothes, so may choose to layer up. Certainly in the summer months this can be challenging, as I’ve said already.

Seeing past colors

If you have psoriasis and want to know how to shop for clothes and what’s suitable, try setting a day aside when you’re not working or studying to really go into stores and see what they have.

Try and see past colors, to start. At the end of the day, you have this condition, it’s chronic and not very nice, but it is what is part of you. You might as well embrace it. I wish I did sooner. So don’t just choose white or bright colors, go for the browns and darker shades of purple, if you really like the item. So set that day aside and perhaps take a friend or family member with you. Use the fitting rooms to try on what you have and really get a feel for the clothes and what style you like.

If you’re worried your patches may bleed, try a vest underneath your clothes before you go out, to see how the lesions are. But if you can, try and resist scratching or bothering the lesions. It’s not so much that it might affect your new purchases, it could make you feel more uncomfortable, too.

Don't be afraid to branch out!

So, if you’re planning a shopping trip and you have psoriasis, remember to try and branch out. It’s tough. I know. But from my experience, I wish I had just chosen clothes I really liked and not just went for dark-colored T-shirts and trousers just to avoid the embarrassment of the flakes falling down and it being very visible.

Now, I wear dark-colored clothes and light-colored ones. And while my psoriasis is a lot better, I am determined not to let it have a hold over me if it does come on really badly because I’ll remember that it’s just a part of me and it’s not anything bad. It’s just a chronic condition.

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