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Facial psoriasis in the era of face masks

Woman with psoriasis wearing a face mask on London underground

This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.

There isn't much you can do to hide facial psoriasis. It’s very visible which can bring a whole heap of emotions. There have been times in my life when all I’ve wanted to do is hide my psoriasis away. I have changed face-to-face coffee meetings to phone calls or emails in order to not have to show my facial psoriasis or answer any questions about it. Though I am now mostly comfortable with my facial psoriasis, the stresses of pandemic life have been causing my psoriasis to go from flare to calm and back again within days. Literally a facial psoriasis roller-coaster ride.

Right now there are many times where I can cover my facial psoriasis easily and not have to worry about what the world may think. Other times, my face is completely exposed with the growing number of Zoom meetings that have filled my schedule. 

Below, I have covered some areas which are particularly relevant right now as well as my two top tips for dealing with facial psoriasis in general.

Face masks and facial psoriasis

Woman with psoriasis wearing a face mask on London underground

A face mask allows me to cover the majority of my facial psoriasis, but the psoriasis on my forehead is still visible (probably where my patches are the worst) and still attracts stares. I try my best to ignore these, I don’t need anything else worrying me during the pandemic. To overcome this I have started wearing a beanie hat when out as it covers most of my forehead plus with it being winter I can get away with wearing it all the time inside and out!

Though face masks are covering my facial psoriasis, they can also irritate it. Whilst it is vital to wear a mask right now, I have chosen to use a cotton mask which I find is gentler on my skin and doesn’t rub as much against my psoriasis. This has helped with irritation and flakiness when removing the mask (before it was like a snow storm when I took my mask off).

Zoom and facial psoriasis

I don’t know about you, but it feels like I spend my whole day on Zoom calls. Firstly, for work, then Zoom calls to friends, and then family to catch up. Whilst it is lovely and a great way to connect with people, for me Zoom fatigue is real and so is Zoom anxiety.

Sometimes I look like I don’t even have psoriasis and other times it looks like I am having the worst flare of my life, the latter can attract unwanted comments. Though they come from a good place it can be frustrating and make me feel self-conscious, which is not ideal on top of all the other emotions that I am going through during lockdown.

Like me, you may not want your psoriasis to be the centre of attention at Zoom meetings. Here are two things that I have found helpful: 1) lighting can be your friend or foe. Spend a few minutes before your next Zoom call looking at the lighting and how it looks on your face via the camera. 2) Remember, it’s no one’s business. If anyone asks or makes a comment, try to smile, say it's psoriasis and move the conversation on. Or if you aren’t confident doing that just change the subject, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about how you look, your skin or your condition.

What I do for my facial psoriasis

Jude Duncan facial psoriasis blog

Having had facial psoriasis for over seven years, I have found a few things that really help me look after my patches. The first is that hydration is key. For me, keeping my skin hydrated inside and out makes a huge difference to how itchy and flaky my patches are. By keeping my skin hydrated, moisturising day and night, plus using a hydrating misting spray throughout the day I am able to keep my patches happy and not too angry looking.

The second is that make-up is not my friend. Well specifically foundations and concealer. I find that putting foundation or concealer anywhere near by patches is a big no no. Not only does it irritate them and make them redder, it means I’ll be scratching all day and night removing the makeup and making the whole process a waste of time. Not only is the make-up gone but my skin and patches feel worse for it!

Psoriasis your way

Remember, psoriasis is super individual, so what works for me might not work for you and vice versa! If you are unsure of anything to do with your facial psoriasis or any psoriasis patches it is best to reach out to your medical professional.

Jude

MAT-42677 March 2021. Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.

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