It's Laundry Day!
Last updated: November 2023
Psoriasis comes into your life and makes you take a long hard look at everything to do with your skin. What it comes into contact with, and what products you are using. Usually, these are made with great enthusiasm at first. You go into detective mode and sniff out anything that could be causing your psoriasis to worsen. As I approach year 16 of living with psoriasis and all of its shenanigans, I seem to have lost some enthusiasm. It is good though, every now and then to rekindle that fire.
It took me a lot longer than it should have to work this one out though. After years of suffering from psoriasis, not once had I thought about the type of laundry products I was using at home. It was time to look at how I am washing my clothes and what products were being used to do this. As simple as it seemed, it evaded me for years.
Laundry Detergent and softener
If you walk into any store, you will be able to find a huge variety of laundry detergents and related products. I am not too sure how everyone chooses what they use. It can be by price or the level of soil on your clothes. In softener, it may be the fragrance (it always was for me) or the level of fluffiness it can bring to your towels.
However, when you have psoriasis, all of this can change. Laundry detergents and softeners have led to some serious aggravation and flares. Excessive detergents and products have also been known to make my skin break out in hives. Which on top of already having psoriasis, is simply one of the worst things to experience.
Laundry detergent and softener that is made for babies, or eco-friendly can often be a good choice for me. Consider this if you think that your psoriasis could benefit from a change: the more sensitive the product is to skin and or the environment, the less likely it is to cause my psoriasis to flare.
Less is more
Something that I did learn, and I do not even know who taught me this if I am honest, that I have been using way too much detergent. Not just for my psoriasis, just in general. I could have been using a lot less and still have clean clothes. Who knew?
I initially halved the amount that I use with much trepidation I might add. Lo and behold, my clothing was still clean and my psoriasis is not nearly as unhappy as it was prior to making this change. Be mindful that you are not too heavy-handed with your detergent. The excess build-up in your clothes can really make your psoriasis flare. If the clothing is badly soiled a good presoak in baking soda and vinegar or even some stain remover will work. I use this sparingly and not on the whole garment, only on the spots.
White vinegar and baking soda
White vinegar and baking soda are my best friends, especially when it comes to keeping my home clean and keeping our linen and laundry clean. Once I worked out that the laundry detergent was aggravating my psoriasis, I was quick to make some changes. These days I do things very differently.
Depending on my load size, I add one cup of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda to my washing cycle. My laundry keeps clean and my skin is much happier. I do still use some laundry detergent, but maybe a quarter of the suggested cup.
This is one of those things, that I thought would not make a big difference and it has truly had a positive impact on my skin.
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?