beauty and fashion tips for arthritis

Beauty and Fashion: Tips with Arthritis

It’s no secret, looking good can help you feel good. However, achieving your best look – especially in the face of ever-present pain and inflammation – can be beset with challenges. Our experts share how to put your best beauty and fashion foot forward.

  • Use a dispenser in the shower. Instead of a bar of soap or bottles of shampoo and conditioner, which you’ll need to retrieve if dropped, use a push-button body wash, shampoo and conditioner dispenser that can be mounted to the shower wall.
  • Use bathing mitts to ease scrubbing and long-handled brushes and loofas for tough-to-reach spots.
  • Wash hair with helpful products. Use a combined shampoo-and-conditioner and a long-handled hair washer. A volumizing shampoo can also add body to hair that may be thinning due to arthritis medications.
  • Sit down while you dress and if one arm or leg is more stiff or painful, place it into the piece of clothing first. When undressing, remove the stronger arm or leg first, then slip out the other with the help of the stronger one.
  • Try fuller cut clothing with larger openings, which make dressing and undressing easier.
  • Accessorize wisely. For example, use a belt around fuller cut clothing to stay fashion-forward and on days when spending too much time on your hair isn’t possible, try a hair accessory such as a bow or headband.
  • Ditch the buttons. Instead of buttons, go for Velcro, elastic waistbands, hook-and-eye or zipper closures on pants, skirts, shirts and undergarments. And opt for front-fastening bras. An iron-on, Velcro-to-button conversion kit at craft and drug stores can be used to convert button-down shirts into Velcro-fastening shirts that retain a buttoned-up look.
  • Add belts before you put on pants. Lace belts through pant loops before putting on your pants or try a Velcro belt like Myself Belts (, which include a faux belt buckle so no one will know it’s Velcro.
  • Use assistive devices. A button loop with a hollow handle through which you can slide your fingers instead of grasping; a hook or cord-type zipper pull (even a paperclip looped through the whole in the zipper tab) for better reach and leverage to zip up pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, boots or anything with a zipper; a sock aid for pulling on socks, stockings, pantyhose, knee-highs or compression stockings; a long-handled shoe horn for slipping on shoes.

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