Psoriasis and the Color Black
Last updated: March 2019
If you suffer from psoriasis flaking, chances are you’re like me and become hyper-aware of the color black. After all, black is the worst backdrop for a shower of white flakes. This article extends to all dark colors, but black is the top culprit. Here six ways the color black cramps my style.
The most obvious… black clothes. I like black slacks and black jackets for work, just because they match with everything. The trouble is that black clothes are pretty unforgiving, and the closer you get to my scalp, the worse it becomes. By the end of the day, the waistband of my pants is a band of flakes, and at least a few times an hour I find myself dusting off my shoulders. It’s not just the scalp psoriasis, it’s that I absent-mindedly pick at psoriasis on my ears too; the shoulders of my black blazers are always adorned with a dusting of flakes.
While we’re talking about the professional environment, let’s also talk about how much I dislike black office chairs. Fabric is worse than leather, but both are bad. The back of the chair that sits near my neck becomes just as covered in flakes as my clothing. I have to remind myself to give it a check every day to make sure piles aren’t forming on the top. In the same vein, the crevasse of the chair where the seat meets the back is a veritable wonderland of flakes. Because I don’t keep a handheld vacuum at work (maybe I should?), I’m stuck doing a subpar job of trying to sweep the flakes out every week. (And don't think that I've forgotten about the black fabric interior of my car, or its close relative... the central console. What a nightmare).
I don’t normally suffer from psoriasis on my hands (only during really bad flares), but that doesn’t stop my computer keyboard from becoming a plaque receptacle. Oh my gosh. The flakes and crud between the keys? It’s truly horrifying. I’m regularly running a cloth over it, or using a compressed air container to blow the debris away. And while not related to flaking, my computer keyboard is also covered in coconut oil all the time. Collateral damage of psoriasis!
Okay, to be fair I’ve never actually owned a black towel (I’m not classy enough for that), but I have owned towels that are dark blue and purple. I have lots of psoriasis on my ears and in my eyebrows, and all it takes is one swipe of the towel after a shower for it to transfer a face-shaped imprint of white flakes. Ugh! Taking a warm shower helps to lift off all the dead skin that’s accumulated, and my poor towels become home to the displaced shedding (that’s quite a picture, isn’t it?).
Black sheets and pillowcases
Here’s a funny story, my husband complained the other day that our very white bed sheets that we’ve had for two years are becoming kind of yellow and gross looking. He suggested we buy black sheets in the future to hide this. I burst into laughter at the suggestion. Can you imagine what my pillowcase would look like after only one night? He’s funny, my husband.
I was actually thinking the other day it might be nice to go grey, because that would hide my flakes better (of course this is a “grass is greener” scenario; I’m well away that those with grey or white hair find the redness on their scalp is more visible and that coal tar shampoos will start to stain their hair yellow). As it is, I have very dark hair. If I miss an application of coal tar shampoo, it’s impossible to hide the flaking. At least 4 times today I spent time infront of the mirror in the work bathroom flicking out flakes from my hair. Makes me think I should shave my head again ;)
What about you? Do you find yourself avoiding dark colors?
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?