There's a constant flow of fashion blogs and posts out there helping women with psoriasis but there's hardly anything out there for us guys. So I've decided to write a little something to hopefully help the gents out there that are either newly diagnosed with psoriasis or are struggling to feel fashionable whilst maintaining comfort.
Firstly, I would recommend that you arm yourself with a solid knowledge of the fabrics used in fashion and which will and will not be a good idea to wear whilst suffering from psoriasis.
- Cotton - breathable, soft.
- Modal - breathable, soft.
- Linen - exceptionally breathable, very soft.
- Cashmere - breathable, soft.
- Wool - breathable but can be coarse and irritate if sat next to the skin.
- Canvas - this is normally cotton and therefore breathable and soft.
- Leather - breathable and resilient.
- Polyester - non-breathable, can be quite firm.
- Elastane - does not breathe well, can be restrictive and holds in the heat.
- Nylon – does not breathe well, maintains moisture.
- Synthetic Leather - does not breathe well, often referred to as plastic.
So how do these relate to psoriasis? Well I’ve picked three of the main fabrics to go into a little more detail and explain.
Cotton equals comfort
It's an obvious one but the more cotton in the piece the more comfortable it will be on the skin. Cotton is a breathable, soft fabric so is perfect to wear on psoriasis, sensitive or dry skin.
Elastane is the exception (in small doses)
Elastane is a synthetic fabric designed to add stretch to your clothing and help them maintain their shape. It's known by other names such as Spandex and brand names such as Lycra. Essentially it makes your clothing more forgiving because a tight fit can be uncomfortable and even painful when it comes to dressing with psoriasis. But beware, it does not breathe very well and so I wouldn't recommend any item with 5% or above content. For example, a compression t-shirt used in sportswear will typically contain 15-20% elastane, while a pair of socks will only contain around 2%.
Polyester is not your skin's friend
Polyester is a synthetic material which does not breathe. It is often mixed with other fabrics such as cotton but from a psoriasis point of view all this achieves is to make the item less breathable and lessens the softness. It is also more likely to lead to irritation and a overheating of the skin.
Normally these are the main fabrics used in men's clothing but there are others so as a general rule, natural is good and synthetic is bad. If you stick to this principle you can't go far wrong.
Key Psoriasis Pieces
I've put together some key pieces that any psoriasis sufferer should have in their wardrobe.
For me, the tapered fit jean is a must. With slim fit being in fashion for some time and set to stay for a while longer yet, the old regular/loose fits just don't cut it anymore. A tapered fit sits looser around the thigh and narrows towards the hem giving a slim finish to enable you to maximise the current trend of fully exposing your footwear. This enables you to have a fashionable fit whilst not having the jean pressing closely against any psoriasis patches.
The Buster 0853R tapered fit jean from Diesel at £110.00 also contains 2% Elastane to give that slight forgiving stretch when worn.
A good comfortable long sleeve t-shirt will cover any psoriasis patches and looks great. In a neutral tone it also makes a great base level on which to build an outfit.
This AllSaints Galaxy long sleeve t-shirt at £45.00 has a great cut and soft feel.
Brogues. Every man should own a pair. They are equally at home with a pair of jeans as they are with a suit.
These wingtip brogues are from Bertie at House of Fraser priced at £95.00. I selected these particular brogues as they have a natural inner as well as upper.
A comfortable, breathable top layer is important so select a jacket, coat or blazer with natural materials. Adding breathable layers like a cotton shirt or jumper is a better alternative to a heavy synthetic coat. Here I've gone for a khaki bomber jacket.
This 100% cotton bomber jacket from New Look at ASOS priced at £24.99 is perfect for breezy autumn days.
Trainers are most definitely a key piece and can be interchanged with the brogues dependent on the occasion or personal preference.
These white leather trainers from H&M at £39.99 will compliment any casual or smart casual outfit.
I thought I would conclude this post by adding a couple of tips for those of us with toenail psoriasis. I recommend you go for soft loose socks. As close to 100% cotton as possible and of course any small percentage of elastane is fine. Try to avoid thick or sports socks as they tend to catch on the nail and can lead to lifting. Also go for a shoe with a wide or deep toe. A brogue or a classic tennis style are ideal and try to steer clear of footwear with a large amount of synthetic inner.
So it's over to you guys. Go forth and shop!
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-05089. Date of Prep: September 2016