Picking Out Tattoo Concealer For My Body Psoriasis

Last updated: June 2018

I am finding myself in quite the pickle these days! In one month from now I’ll be a Bridesmaid in a childhood friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, the guttate psoriasis on my arms doesn’t exactly match the beautiful sleeveless dress she picked out. I had hoped that I would be able to start phototherapy in time for my spots to clear up, but the clinic was booked solid until 7 days before the wedding. Not going to work! And so, I’m turning to something I’ve never tried before: tattoo concealer.

Wishful thinking

Now that crunch time was coming, I could no longer count on the phototherapy. I started calling around to local makeup stores to see if they carried the line of tattoo makeup I had heard recommended, a product called Dermablend. No one carried it (way to plan ahead, Vicki), but a Sephora store nearby did have a similar product called Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer. Now all I had to do was muster the courage to actually go and try it.

Enlisting reinforcements

I am blessed to have someone in my life with whom I am completely comfortable, psoriasis and all: my Husband. I rather timidly asked him if he would go to the store with me to check out this product. My Husband’s greatest wish is that I could be comfortable enough in my skin to leave it uncovered, but he also respects that I’m not there yet (especially when it comes to hundreds of guests and professional photographers). He agreed, and last weekend we made our way to Sephora.

Wishing I had some camouflage (or an invisibility cloak)

So listen, I may be a psoriasis advocate, and I may expose my psoriasis most of the time without discomfort, but that is a far cry from walking into a busy makeup store and asking someone to look at, and touch, my skin. Many terrible thoughts crossed my mind. What if they refuse to help me? What if they don’t want to use the testers on my skin? What if they speak really loudly and everyone looks at me? It was at this point that my husband suggested I go in first while he grabbed a coffee. I practically climbed him like a tree. “Um, NO! That would be UNACCEPTABLE!” I was clearly overreacting, but he knew better than to say it.

We should have discussed the battle plan first

My Husband accompanied me into the store, at which point I mentally engaged my invisibility shield. My plan was simple: I will find this product all by myself and color-match a shade all by myself. My Husband’s plan was different: I will immediately find a store manager and ask them to help us. So there I am, successfully hiding in the corner when store manager Betty shows up with my Husband to help. No turning back now! I gathered myself up and explained that I needed some tattoo concealer to hide a skin condition for an upcoming wedding. She said that wasn’t a problem and sent over a consultant to help find a shade. I rolled up my sleeves and revealed my spotty arms (because I wear sweaters to the mall “in case the air conditioning is too cold”…always a great excuse). To my great surprise, the consultant didn’t even bat an eye as she went to work picking out the best color. I couldn’t believe it. She didn’t insist on wearing gloves, she didn’t hesitate to touch my psoriasis, she seemed completely unfazed. I felt a huge weight lifted.

Mission successful

Less than 10 minutes later we were leaving the checkout with the concealer, a sponge to apply the product, and a powder to set it and prevent it rubbing off on clothing. I kept admiring the places on my arm where she had applied the concealer. The psoriasis texture was still visible, but my usually bright red spots now completely matched the color of my unaffected skin, and would be totally hidden in pictures. I was ecstatic.

I asked my husband absentmindedly, “What did you tell Betty when you went to ask for help?” He very nonchalantly responded, “Oh, I told her that my wife has an autoimmune condition, that it’s not contagious but that she’s sort of self-conscious about it, so not to make a big deal.” I was gobsmacked. Of course my immediate thought was “how could you say that?!” But he was right, and by being honest with her it made my experience as anxiety-free as possible.

Sometimes your Plan A doesn’t work out, but being part of a community like this one can give you great Plan B ideas (like tattoo concealer!). Sometimes you need to be brave and ask strangers for help and trust that they will be kind. And sometimes it helps if you include people who love you, who know your insecurities, and who will hold your hand (…and who will totally rat you out behind your back so no one freaks out and you have a great day).

To my dear Husband, thank you for always having my back. I will buy you 100 cups of coffee!

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