Tips for Hiding Your Psoriasis

Jack Huber | Jun 1st 2016 Nov 8th 2016

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Like everyone, you like to present your best self to the rest of the world. Your clothes, your hair, make-up, if you’re so inclined – all of these speak to others about who you are. But so does your psoriasis. The red patches, and dry, cracked skin are bad enough to endure in themselves. But the social stigma associated with the condition by people who don’t really understand it (“Is it contagious?”) can be just as bad. With that in mind, here are a few ways to minimize the outward effects.

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First, Avoid Your Psoriasis Triggers

Yes, this is the simplest solution: The best way to avoid flare-ups is to avoid triggers as much as you can. Psoriasis that doesn’t break out in the first place doesn’t have to be concealed. Your aggravating factors may be temperature extremes, certain foods, alcohol, stress (good luck avoiding that one), or any number of situations you probably already know about. But, of course, although this is the best way to avoid the embarrassment you may feel from a psoriasis outbreak, it’s the least likely to actually happen. And so we move on with more practical tips…

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Moisturizing

You’ll want to keep a small container of petroleum oil based moisturizer with you at all times. Use it to moisturize either at home, or when you’re on the go and away from home. Use it regularly. Lesions look less noticeable when you keep up with a daily moisturizing regime. It’s a good idea to talk to your dermatologist if you aren’t sure what moisturizer is best for you. Just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

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The Magic of Light-Colored Clothes

Okay, it’s not actually magic. It’s basically just the simple fact that dark clothes tend to accentuate your psoriasis plaques, while light-colored clothing blends in with the plaques and makes them less noticeable. For those times when you feel the need to wear a dark shirt or pants, top it off with a light colored jacket or sweater. Also, be sure you keep all your clothing loose so it doesn’t irritate or aggravate lesions. Depending on where your plaques are located, you may want to use long sleeves or long pants to cover up.

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Get Rid of the Scaling (as much as possible)

During a warm bath, gently rub the plaques with a loofah sponge. This will loosen the scaling in the top layer of the psoriasis plaques. You may also want to try using gentle cleansers containing salicylic acids to help remove scaling. There are two-fold benefits to this method of concealment – not only does the rubbing make the plaque less noticeable but it helps any moisturizer and topical creams you may be using to be absorbed.

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Try Concealer and Foundation

You may want to use make-up to cover up lesions. Choose a foundation that’s not too slippery. One that won’t cling to the area you’re covering. Cream formulas lend a dewier look, but liquids tend to be too sheer. Stay away from powdered formulas (they emphasize flaking and scaling). Be sure not to use make-up on bleeding or cracked lesions as this can cause infection. Finally, don’t overdo it. If it looks like cover-up, you’re wearing too much.

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See the Light

Spend a few minutes in the sun or talk to your doctor about phototherapy. Both of these activities have been shown to help reduce psoriasis outbreaks in some cases. Be sure not to overdo your exposure, though. It’s best to spend no more than 10 minutes or so in the sun to give you the benefits of absorbing the Vitamin D, but at the same time avoid any chance of burning.

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Accessorize!

Just as magicians rely on misdirection, you may want to use the allure of bangles and beads to your advantage. Adding accessories to your outfit will help on two levels – by covering up areas you don’t want seen – and by drawing other people’s eyes to the accessories and away from other parts of your body. Also, have you ever thought of wearing sequins? Psoriasis flakes will slide off sequins so you don’t need to worry as much about flaking.

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The Red Light District

Moments of intimacy are some of the most awkward for many people with psoriasis. The clothing, ointment, or accessory options tend to be minimal in the bedroom. But this setting also offers a unique masking opportunity: Invest in a red light bulb. Sure, it might make your boudoir resemble a bordello, but it will do wonders for hiding your psoriasis. Red bulbs bathe the room in a dark, soft, red glow that masks your condition and allows you to concentrate on the matters at hand.

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What about Tattoos?

Psoriasis sometimes develops in areas of skin injury, particularly when the disease is flaring – so it may develop in areas with piercings or tattoos. The biggest concern is that a tattoo may cause a flare or plaques on the tattooed skin. However, this kind of psoriasis will often respond to the use of topical therapy, as long as the area heals without infection. Always get these procedures from a professional under sterile conditions. But never get a tattoo in an attempt to hide your psoriasis. No tattoo artist should ever agree to tattoo over psoriasis plaques.

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Just Spray It!

As summer approaches, baring your arms and legs is fairly inevitable, as the sun beats down on you. With psoriasis, a relatively easy fix may be applying one of a number of camouflaging body solutions specifically formulated for larger areas of the skin. To name just a couple, there’s Votre Vu Silk Stockings Tinted Body Lotion – or (the Kim Kardashian famed) Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs spray, which dries to a matte finish.

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One Last Word

There is a school of thought that hiding your psoriasis is somehow giving in to the opinions of others, and empowering them to rule your life. People who adhere to that point of view leave their affected skin bare for all the world to see. That’s a legitimate attitude and for those people, it works. For others, camouflaging their psoriasis is done as much for their own benefit as for anyone else’s. In the end, psoriasis is something you have – not who you are. While there are times it may be embarrassing or make you feel self-conscious, make sure it does not impact your personality or your abilities.

NEXT: 10 Health Resolutions You Should Have as a Person with Psoriasis