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Why I Can’t Get Enough of the Beach When Living With Psoriasis

With summer in full swing, STLI writer Merritt is heading to the beach to take advantage of not only the weather, but also its impacts on her skin.


Merritt Ward is one of our community writers and currently lives with psoriasis. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts where she works as a public relations specialist, and hopes her personal stories will help uplift and empower others in the psoriasis community.

My fellow Boston-area natives and I cherish (almost) nothing more the precious days between June and August because it is those sunny, beautiful days we hold onto while we’re standing in the cold rain, freezing snow and blustery winds during the other eight months of the year. To us, summer days are worth more than their weight in gold. Sometimes, it can feel physically painful to be inside my office on a 75° F, clear-sky summer day. Okay, I may be exaggerating for effect, but you understand my point.

Summer means waking up early; skillfully stocking the outdoor cooler with every snack and beverage you could imagine needing or wanting during the day plus multiple lunch options; strategically balancing on your bike; and riding to the preferred beach of the day, if you find yourself so lucky as to have options.

Summer in Boston, Massachusetts, particularly where I live, is synonymous with beaches. Beaches everywhere provide an unmatched, total oasis from the hubbub and grind of our everyday lives. They are a place to checkout, slow down and live wholly in the moment, which seems to contrast the rapid speed and messaging we’re bombarded with 24/7. They are also perhaps one of the few places where you can gather with friends and family or enjoy your, and solely your, own company.

I love the beach for the sand, salt water and unobstructed sunrays. I know, I know. Everyone loves the beach for these reasons, too. But, living with psoriasis, these simple summertime treasures offer a reprieve (if only for a day) from my itchy, red, scaly skin. It seemed like with the same breath my dermatologist gave me my psoriasis diagnosis she also told me to get to the beach that summer as soon as possible! I quickly learned the sun and salt water (and even annoying sand!) could help clear spots. Mother Nature, I love you.

Every summer, as I make the walk from beach towel to shoreline, dipping my toes in first then mustering the strength to dive in, I’m grateful to live nearby and, most importantly, I’m thankful for the friends and family who are also beach lovers. And, it’s really just the cherry on top if my spots disappear for a little while. I’d like to think they’re off having their own beach day, too…

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