No matter what you do this summer, you deserve to feel confident and comfortable in the skin you are in.
Summer can be a daunting time for people with psoriasis. Between higher temperatures — a common flare trigger — and people opting to show more skin, the summer months can be tricky to navigate. I know it can feel like a long few months, but fear not: Here are a few of my must-haves for surviving summer when you have psoriasis.
For some people, higher temperatures and sunlight help improve the visible signs of psoriasis. For others, like me, they can have the opposite effect. During the warmer months, my skin tends to feel like it’s crawling. When the weather gets hot, thermal water spray is one product I cannot be without.
I’ll admit, I was skeptical when I first read up on it. It seemed silly to pay for what is literally spring water in a can, but I find a few sprays instantly calm my skin and soothe the often unbearable itch.
Contrary to popular belief, your plaques will not protect you from the sun’s rays. While for some, exposure to sunlight can help improve the appearance of the markings on their skin, it is still essential to wear SPF.
Wearing sun cream won’t stop the sunlight from having a positive effect on your skin, but it will protect you from burns and damage. Sunburn should be avoided at all costs. This is not just to reduce your risk of skin cancers, but also to prevent the Koebner phenomenon.
The Koebner phenomenon is when psoriasis appears at the site of injury or damage to the skin, and one main trigger is sunburn. To prevent triggering a flare, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to the exposed areas of your body, and reapply every 2 hours.
If you take certain medications, undergo phototherapy, or apply steroid applications to treat your psoriasis, you should pay particular attention to those areas when applying your SPF. Those treatment paths can cause photosensitivity — a heightened sensitivity to UV rays — and make your skin to be more susceptible to damage.
We all have our weapons of choice, items we wear into battle to shield us from unwanted stares and questions. I’m all for wearing the damn shorts, but I understand that there are days when you just don’t feel confident enough to bare your plaques for all to see.
Making smart clothing choices can help you camouflage patches you may be self-conscious of while still looking your best. Gone are the days of wearing a T-shirt over your bathing suit in the pool.
I love clothes made from sheer materials. They add a bit of glamour to an outfit but still offer the coverage you want. After all, nothing quite screams summer like a sarong!
It doesn’t have to be obvious that you are trying to hide something, either. Long flowing skirts and dresses are summer staples but also great options for covering up your psoriasis. Long sleeves and trousers offer optimum coverage and are quite on-trend this season. Silk scarves and hats are ideal accessories for concealing scalp psoriasis.
To make warm and sticky summer nights more comfortable, opt for nightwear made from natural and organic materials, like cotton or bamboo, that won’t cling to or irritate your skin.
Regardless of how psoriasis positive you may be, it can be hard to embrace showing more skin during a flare-up. There are specialist creams and powders you can apply to your skin to instantly minimize the appearance of scars, birthmarks, tattoos, or noninfectious skin conditions like psoriasis.
Skin camouflage products help you to take back control of how your skin looks and can really boost your confidence. As long as your skin is healed – without any breakage, bleeding, or oozing – these creams are safe to apply and can be extremely effective and natural-looking.
If applied correctly they can last up to 16 hours and are even waterproof, so you can cannonball into the pool with confidence.
Hand psoriasis can be easily triggered when your hands are hot and sweaty. To keep them cool, try wearing UV protective gloves. They are made from lightweight, breathable fabric.
I barely notice them when they are on, but find they create a sort of protective layer between my skin and irritants. I especially recommend them for protection from outdoor activities like friction from gripping the dog’s walking lead, rowing boat paddles, and holding on to bike handlebars.
Surround yourself and fill your social media feeds with content created by people who embrace the markings on their skin. This has helped me feel less conscious of my plaques and more confident in my body.
In fact, I was at a family wedding recently and didn’t feel the need to wear an outfit that concealed my psoriasis patches. I wasn’t bothered by them, and when I realized they were in view (seeing my reflection in a bathroom mirror), I thought to myself, “I don’t mind if someone asks me about them.”
It’s taken me a long time to reach that stage of acceptance and confidence, and I got there by seeing other people doing the exact same thing. I truly believe the more we see something, the more we accept it.
No matter what you do this summer, you deserve to love the skin you are in. Whether that’s by covering up or showing off in that cute new bathing suit, you’ve got this!
Being confident and comfortable doesn’t always happen overnight, so be kind to yourself. I hope this list of tips helps you enjoy the summer months, without letting psoriasis slow you down.
Medically reviewed on July 12, 2022
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