Recently I've started wearing glasses for watching TV and using a computer. I honestly didn't even think about my psoriasis at first as I was so busy trying to regain my focus, so to speak. Choosing a pair of glasses with psoriasis was slightly more challenging than I first expected. It started off in the usual fashion of trying on various styles to see which suited me. But then, as I sat there in front of the optical adviser and a mirror wearing some frames for a while, I remembered the pain of wearing certain sunglasses. I've got almost as many pairs of sunglasses as I have creams sat at home gathering dust. This is because I have psoriasis on the sides of my head, across the face, around the eyes and sometimes it flares all around my ears too.
Something I didn't realise is there are certain materials within frames that can cause allergic reactions, irritation or even bring on eczema (the phthalates in plastic frames and the base metals used in metal frames, for example). However, the good news is that there are hypoallergenic frames available. These are usually made from materials such as Titanium or Nylon but there are others. This is something I would suggest that you discuss with your optician or optical advisor at an early stage.
Usually, choosing a pair of glasses is a time for you to express your own individual style. Having tried on hundreds of frames it soon became apparent that when suffering from psoriasis, style must sometimes come second to comfort. You obviously want to feel confident in your new glasses, so find a style, material and shape that are comfortable for you and then shop from there.
Lighter frames with smaller lenses were the way to go for me. I tried many different designer frames with fairly large lenses but soon discovered that the added weight of larger lenses ended up pushing the frame against my nose, around my eyes and needed to grip the sides of my head or hook around the ears, which irritated my psoriasis. A good option is to pay a little extra for thinner, lightweight lenses which dependant on your prescription and your skin can make a huge difference to overall comfort.
I've been framed
I've opted to go for two frames. One for when my psoriasis is flaring and one for when my skin is calm. My flare pair are lightweight with small lenses, flexible arms and a skull fit.
My calm pair are a lightweight plastic with small lenses, rigid arms and a round grip.
Just like with creams and ointments, finding the right glasses for you and your psoriasis can take a while, but with a bit of knowledge and persistence you too can find your focus.
Life through a lens
Wearing glasses is an adjustment. You may want to adjust your skincare routine around your need to wear them. Luckily for me, I have quick absorbing moisturisers that I can use on my head and face so that I don't end up with cream on my lenses. They aren't my first choice moisturisers so I use my usual in the morning and evening and the quick absorbing ones throughout the day.
There are a few things I now carry with me such as WaterWipes for the arms of my plastic frames. WaterWipes are chemical free so friendly for both your frames and your skin. I also have glasses cleaner spray for the lenses, with a second cleaning cloth to clean any small amounts of cream or ointment that finds its way onto the lenses. I replace the cloth regularly so that I'm not putting old cream back onto the lenses when I clean them.
I must admit that buying two pairs of glasses has turned out to be a great decision. The flare pair are so thin and light that I can actually wear a moisturiser, face mask or face protector without the cream touching the lenses. Less smear more clear.
I now see my psoriasis clearer than ever.
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-06251. Date of Prep: November 2016