You deserve to feel confident in your skin this summer. Here are 12 steps you can take to boost your self-esteem.
With temperatures rising, it’s an exciting time to jump back into summer activities. But if you live with psoriasis, you may feel nervous about being active outdoors and wearing less clothing in the heat.
Warmer weather can mean more skin exposure and anxiety about your appearance. But it’s important to remember that psoriasis is not just a skin condition — it can affect your emotional, mental, and overall physical health.
One study published in 2017 found that reduced self-esteem is common among people living with psoriasis. You may also experience increased skin sensitivity or have concerns about getting too much sun exposure because of medical treatments.
There are plenty of steps you can take to boost your self-esteem and make confident decisions. It’s important to trust that, with time, you will gain confidence in your skin.
Here are some tips on staying active and comfortable in your body this summer.
Maybe you have muscular arms, thick hair, or a contagious smile. Highlight, flaunt, and focus on your favorite attributes every time you see yourself. Believe it or not, your psoriasis plaques are probably not the first thing a stranger notices about you.
When picking a swimsuit, there are many important factors to consider. You may prioritize color, fit, cost, or ease of bathroom use. Make a list of your priorities and look for a suit that meets your top three requirements.
If sun protection is your priority, there are a few high quality swimwear options. Companies like Solbari, Coolibar, Lands End, and UVSkinz sell UPF 50+ sun-protective swimwear and clothing and offer convenient online ordering.
There are no rules when it comes to psoriasis. While it may be tempting to cover up from head to toe (even in hot summer months), give yourself permission to choose comfort over coverage. Your confidence will soar when you feel good in what you’re wearing.
Too much exposure to both sun and heat can make psoriasis plaques worse. Invest in sweat-wicking clothing if you’re very active, since staying dry can help with psoriasis plaques. You can also check out cooling products like personal fans and towels that stay cold and wet.
Avoid being outdoors when the sun is strongest — usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. And keep in mind that not all clothing can filter out UV rays. Look for clothing that’s specifically labeled to do so.
Some medications used to treat psoriasis, including methotrexate and topical steroids (such as hydrocortisone cream), can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the main ingredient and avoid applying it to actively inflamed or infected skin. Avoid products with added chemicals, preservatives, colors, and perfumes, which can trigger psoriasis flares.
Look for products labeled “sunblock” instead of “sunscreen” — you want a product that sits on top of your skin and deflects the sun’s rays, not one that gets absorbed into your skin.
Lastly, opt for broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher for the best protection. (These are the 5 best sunblock products for psoriasis, according to Healthline.)
Want a summer glow while staying in the shade? Try a sunless tanner. It’s a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to boost your confidence in your skin this summer.
Look for a product that’s both a moisturizer and a sunless tanner, as this type of product is best for psoriasis. Be sure to exfoliate your skin before using the product and avoid applying it directly to plaques, inflamed skin, or open wounds.
When you live with psoriasis, you might find yourself avoiding mirrors. Why not try a different approach? Try to spend time looking in the mirror every day. Take mental notes about your favorite physical qualities and make an effort to get comfortable with your reflection. It’s a great opportunity to repeat your confidence-boosting affirmations too.
One study published in 2017 found that repeating encouraging phrases while looking in the mirror had a soothing effect on participants. (Some experts call this “mirror work” and charge high prices for this guided psychological service.)
While it may feel awkward at first, the more time you spend viewing yourself positively, the more comfortable you may feel in your skin.
When you’re around friends or loved ones, try to talk about your psoriasis rashes and plaques openly. And when people approach you with questions about your psoriasis, answer them honestly. It’s a good opportunity to educate someone who is genuinely interested.
It may feel like there’s nothing worse than someone being worried about “catching” your psoriasis plaques or becoming ill from being around you. It’s OK to respond with “It’s psoriasis — it’s not contagious.”
Regular exercise can strengthen, tone, and tighten your muscles, which may help you feel more empowered and confident in your skin. Exercise also promotes stress management, which can help you manage psoriasis too.
When the weather is nice, you can opt for an outdoor hike, join an outdoor workout class, or do yoga poolside. Move your body in ways that feel good for you.
Make a list of things you avoid in the summer because of your psoriasis. Then, challenge yourself to choose one item on the list and just do it!
Wear the romper, buy the bikini, go to the pool party. It may feel hard at first, but it’ll be a huge confidence boost when you’ve finally done it and crossed it off your list!
Celebrities make everything look cool, and this is very true for psoriasis! Read about celebrities who live with psoriasis like Kim Kardashian, LeAnn Rimes, and Cyndi Lauper. Their openness about their personal struggles with psoriasis and advocacy for the psoriasis community are incredible. It can give you the self-confidence boost you need.
Using your personal struggles for advocacy is incredibly inspiring and can boost your confidence. You can check out advocates like:
This summer, you can surround yourself with others who are living with psoriasis by participating in community events like these. The National Psoriasis Foundation hosts meetings, webinars, walks, runs, and bike rides all over the United States.
There are plenty of steps you can take to boost your self-esteem and make confident decisions. It’s important to trust that, with time, you will gain more confidence in your skin.
There’s no cure for psoriasis, but you can enjoy your summer this year with boosted self-esteem. If you’re looking for more advice about navigating life with psoriasis, Bezzy is here to help.
Medically reviewed on May 26, 2023
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