Oftentimes people say love the skin you’re in… For some of us living with psoriasis, this can be a challenging concept to apply to our lives. I’ve made a lot of adjustments to my fashion choices because of psoriasis. At times the looks and stares from outsiders were too much to bare. Initially, my decision to conceal my skin with clothing was due to the shame of having the disease. Now 18 years later I love the skin I’m in, I have no problem discussing my condition, but the stares and misconceptions I receive from strangers also make me want to cover up. I’m no longer ashamed, but at times I just don’t want to deal with the repercussions of being a walking billboard for psoriasis. Sometimes I want to enjoy a day out on the town without the extra attention psoriasis seems to grab.
Fashion choices and psoriasis
Being into fashion and living with psoriasis has given me the opportunity to provide tips to other women living with the disease. On World Psoriasis Day I attended an event doing just that. During the event, I overheard a gentlemen gripe, “what does fashion have to do with psoriasis?” Some who heard his sentiments expressed disapproval for his viewpoint. I wasn’t offended but it made me think, what does psoriasis have to do with fashion? Is it really important? Do other people go through the same struggles when it comes to fashion and psoriasis? Was I alone in this battle? On Instagram and Facebook, I asked my friends living with psoriasis to answer the following question, “does psoriasis affect your fashion choice,” and here is what they had to say:
Summertime is the hardest
Simplytikeyah states: “It’s definitely a challenge picking an outfit that is cute but covers the parts of my body that I don’t like to show due to my flares. Summertime is definitely the hardest time because I can’t wear certain sundresses and short skirts our of fear of showing my plaques! Winter is a little bit easier because it’s easier to cover up because it’s cold!”
I can relate too well to these sentiments! I remember dreading the summer and embracing the winter because that meant I could dress cute, cover-up, and not be asked a bunch of questions as to why do I have on long sleeves and pants in the summer.
It hides the blood
Matthew K shared: “I would wear black to intentionally show off my flakes. I know that’s unusual. However, with the disease on my face and scalp, I couldn’t hide it anyway. Therefore, I decided I was going to own it. But also, the black was less likely to let the blood show from all the places my skin would bleed.”
I remember scratching my psoriasis to the point I broke skin and drew blood. Wherever this happened, the blood would dry, and my pants would stick to the area which was bleeding.
Staying cool but covered
Morethanskindeep1 commented: “I’ve spent more time than I care to remember looking for summer tops that cover my back and chest! I won’t wear V-necks as although my psoriasis is highly visible everywhere else, showing in on/between my cleavage is a step too far for me! This winter I’m trying to avoid scarves (which are always a winter fashion staple for me!) as I’m sure they irritate psoriasis on my neck.”
I can totally relate to this. In the summertime, I try picking lace tops which are long sleeve and light. The lace camouflages psoriasis plaques very well but with a summery look.
It’s all in your head
Keri M. said: “Not with clothes but definitely my hair (scalp) and the wigs and weave. I get tired of the comments. Mind your own hair…”
People are so quick to judge our choices for fashion and hair but really don’t understand the half of it, hopefully, Keri’s story will give some insight.
Don’t leave the house unprepared
JalinasMom shared: “Long-sleeved shirts, cardigans, and sweaters are a must-have in my closet, year round. I have to be able to cover my arms because that is mainly where I have my psoriasis, and I am not comfortable leaving the house with it exposed.”
Oftentimes when and if I decided to leave the house with my arms exposed I would carry a jacket with me or another type of cover up just in case I became overwhelmed with anxiety from being in public with my psoriasis showing.
How does psoriasis impact your fashion choices?