Flares and Fashion

If there's one thing anyone can be sure of about me, it's that I am an absolute fashion fiend. Living in New Jersey, we have all four seasons to dress for. Of them all, fall is by far my favorite. I look forward to wearing trendy jackets, long dresses, you name it! The fact that I love fall fashions actually works out in my favor when it comes to my psoriasis flares. I don't overthink whether anyone can see my skin during this season when I'm mostly covered. 

I know what you're thinking, what about spring and summer? The thought of it especially for those like me with psoriasis can be a bit overwhelming. We're so used to hiding our skin if we are experiencing an active flare. Loving fashion, and maybe now that I'm in my mid 40's (the liberating years, lol) I care more about what makes me feel good versus what others think.

Finding the best flare fits

Feeling good whether that means comfort or being chic is the goal when it comes to flare fashion fits. So many of us living with psoriasis deal with confidence issues, and this can be a struggle when finding the right clothing. For starters, if you have issues with scalp psoriasis like me, I find it best to avoid dark clothing. This helps to bring less attention to any potential scales that may have fallen from my scalp. Play around with different colors, the color wheel is vast! Avoiding dark clothing and trying out different color combinations can turn out to be something fun.

In the fall and winter, if you live in a region like mine, covering areas you don't want to be seen is a breeze. Even though covering is cool, be mindful of what fabric types work best with your skin. Just because we're covered doesn't mean our skin is comfortable. Try sticking to breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. These fabrics are also known for absorbing sweat. Try to steer clear of anything that is harsh and will contribute to your scratching or irritating your skin. We don't want to contribute to making things worse for ourselves by choosing clothing that is uncomfortable.

For the summer and spring, the focus for many is how to conceal. Speaking for myself, I personally do not like to feel hot and sweaty. Because of this, I choose fabrics to wear that are cool. In the midst of a flare instead of trying to figure out how to cover, I actually enjoy finding items that are super cute and unique. Often times people are so into the outfit and are in full compliment mode that the focus is taken off of any visible plaques I might have. Finding things that are my fashion love language redirects the attention to the outfit.

Make it fun

Fashion can be fun, and even therapeutic. After I came into a full acceptance that yes, I will have flares, and yes I do have hyperpigmentation I made the conscious decision to just feel good.  We have plenty of issues and day to day struggles to try to tackle. If I can create joy for myself with something I love while I am still going through whatever psoriasis brings, I will always choose to create small wins for myself. The small can be in the form of styling a certain outfit in a way where I feel great. It feels like triumph on so many levels, especially knowing that it involves the personal choice to reframe and work hard to push through whatever feelings or emotions that may arise from not wanting to deal with the world's questions or judgement about what they see on my skin.

Fashion has become a part of my own personal toolkit of self-care when dealing with my psoriasis. Learning to embrace my skin is really what it's all about, and with that fashion has become one of my favorite things to express myself, while also persevering.

Have you faced struggles when it comes to your confidence and what to wear when experiencing a flare? What have you done to push through it, or are you still looking for ways to work through it?  Do you have your own flare fashion advice you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!

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