Figuring out how to dress comfortably with psoriasis has been a journey. When I first experienced full body coverage with psoriasis, it was fall 2020 and we were all working from home due to a global pandemic. This was a silver lining, since all I could comfortably wear were 100 percent cotton pajamas.
Even before psoriasis, I didn’t love the feel of fabrics like wool. But at the height of a flare, anything that didn’t glide right over my body would tug on my plaques — sometimes pulling off skin and causing me to bleed. To avoid clothing catching on my lesions, I created a uniform of loose, cotton loungewear. I had to replace this loungewear frequently because each article would become completely stained from the coconut and castor oils I would apply three times a day. The oils kept my plaques from splitting and made me feel less itchy. The few times I wanted to wear something nicer for a home-based date night, I had to decide between skipping the oils or staining the clothing.
This past spring, when I returned to work in person, I needed to figure out how to comfortably wear professional clothing. For me, the best strategy is to apply my topicals and oils, and then put on some cotton pajamas while the oils absorb into my skin. The pajamas catch any excess product, and then I change into my professional wear right before leaving for work. I have also replaced some of my “hard” pants — as I now call them — with flowing, gentle fabrics. Luckily, in the warmer months, linen pants fit the vibe.
Over the summer, I enjoyed having a clearer torso thanks to my biologic medication and confidently wore tank tops. With my legs still pretty covered with plaques, I had to rethink my summer style. I am in full support of movements such as the Get Your Skin Out campaign on Instagram, and I believe people should be able to show their skin, psoriasis or not, without ignorant stares or comments. However, I am not yet in that place with my psoriatic skin.
I don’t like showing it and want to cover it as much as possible. One of my close friends got married over the summer, and I realized that none of my summer dresses would cover my lesions on my legs. Instead of forcing myself to “own my skin” in a way I’m just not excited about yet, I went shopping for jumpsuits. I found something with full leg coverage that still feels stylish and sexy, and I felt excited to wear it.
While I want to work toward accepting my body with psoriasis and feeling comfortable and worthy while showing my skin, I am not putting pressure on myself to get there quickly. I am willing to modify my style so I can feel good — and not as though I need to be ready to explain myself at all times. I appreciate those who are getting their skin out while being patient with myself and the fact that sometimes, I might just want to keep it in.
MyPsoriasisTeam columnists discuss psoriasis from a specific point of view. Columnists' articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyPsoriasisTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. MyPsoriasisTeam content isn't intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.