I believe wholeheartedly that a person’s outer appearance can affect the way we socialize. It is no secret that the importance social connection is critical for our well being. But what if you were afraid to leave the house because of Psoriasis. What if every time you did live the house, you spent the entire time wondering, and worrying if others were staring, wondering what was wrong with you. Covering up affected areas until inflammation has diminished seems all well and fine but what about the warm days, the romantic evenings, or dressing for special occasions.
One of the things I personally hated about my Psoriasis was the way it kept me from wearing what truly made me comfortable. No tanks, or shorts on hot summer days. I was once told by an E.R. Dr. that I should move to Arizona and my Psoriasis would “clear right up”. Well I did make that move, and no, it did not clear or diminish my Psoriasis in any capacity. I was just confined to wearing long sleeves and pants in 100 plus degree weather. Also, there is no swimming at the beach or in a pool with friends when you suffer with patches that can burn or be irritated by chlorine and other harsh chemicals. No beautiful dresses for a night out.
Over time I learned to acclimate, get creative with my Psoriasis symptoms. I found some articles of clothing that would reflect who I was while at the same time keeping me safe from peering eyes, fear, and criticism that always come with having psoriasis. Sleeves with thumb holes were my favorite article of clothing. Wearing skirts or dresses was accomplished by wearing thick dance nylons.
The material was thick enough to hide the Psoriasis inflammation, but looked natural enough to sport in public. Gloves were my go to item for any occasion to hide my most noticeable area, my hands. Although burdensome many of these articles of clothing were affordable in comparison with the treatment that required 75 dollars per week and at minimum 6 hours of travel and wait time.
Being that I was diagnosed when I was fairly young I did not want to miss out on any fun. I also dealt with massive sense of insecurity after my divorce. I once spoke to the women sleeping with my ex husband and she made sure to make mention of all of the things my ex hated about my skin and how he did not want to touch me. I was driven to exude sex appeal and I was not going to let my Psoriasis get in the way. I tried to look sexy, using what I could to stay covered. I used to think how can I be revealing while covered. Looking back at old photos I can see how badly I was screaming for attention, making my insecurities as clear as day, and
begging for negative attention. Many of my friends did not even know that I was dealing with Psoriasis, let alone all of the extra emotional baggage that came along with it. I can say now that those days are behind me.
Although I no longer need to stay covered as I have been clear for many months without treatment. I know all too well the struggle to find clothing that can feel comfortable and attractive.