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Hepatitis C and Your Wardrobe

Hepatitis C and Your Wardrobe

Jeans and t-shirts or gowns and pearls? Old school hi-tops or three inch heels? Although much of the world has right or wrong choices, the world of fashion is often filled with no wrong decisions, just personal preferences. Some may choose one era or type of attire, others may choose to mix and match what feels right for them and their body type. The reasons for fashion choices can be endless. For some, the reason for fashion choices may be tied to their hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment experience.

Dress for Comfort

When considering attire, most choose items that cause them to feel attractive and that flatter their figures. Hepatitis C may make this more difficult. For some, the virus can lead to sudden weight gain or loss. When this occurs, clothing may not fit the way it previously did. This can be difficult for some to process and to not have feelings about, however many of these changes will disappear when the medication regimen ends. Others find that they are regularly constipated, or have ascites, both of which can lead to an extended stomach. Although doctors may prescribe medications that can help the body to more quickly eliminate waste, it can cause previously favorite clothing items to accidentally emphasize the bloat that can go with constipation. Some choose to wear looser pants, others choose yoga or athletic styles that are more flexible around the midsection. Shirts can also camouflage the midsection by being cut away from the body or based on distracting patterns.

Some people feel differences in temperature during their treatment. While this is more generally rare than some of the other side effects, this can cause people to choose to wear or purchase items that help the body to feel more comfortable with the temperature in the places they regularly go. This may mean that those in warm climates are buying items with long sleeves or that those who live in colder climates are seeking out items that are sleeveless or offer less coverage than one’s typical wardrobe choices. This may be helpful to some, while others may choose to dress as they typically do and instead purchase a heating blanket or pad or to buy numerous ice packs and to rotate them throughout the day.

When choosing clothing with different color options, many have favorite colors that they regularly choose. This may be based on a partner’s favorite, something that brings on great memories, or because a website helped them to understand what colors work best with the person’s hair color, eye color, and skin tone. However, hepatitis C can also impact this choice process. While many experience little to no symptoms of their hepatitis C except for medication treatment side effects, others struggle with jaundice. When this occurs, the skin, eyes, and finger nails may appear to be yellow in tint. During this time, some clothing colors can make this seem more apparent, while others can help to mask this temporary experience. Many believe that wearing shades of yellow or colors with yellow hues (oranges, some shades of brown, white and shades of white) can all make the eye become more aware of the yellowing. Although this may also be based on a person’s individual skin tone and the extent of their jaundice, this factor may be considered while choosing clothing during the treatment process.

Treat Yourself to a Shopping Trip

While many find their hepatitis C treatment and the required medical visits to be a stressful experience to add to their already busy lives, others try to continue to live their lives as if the virus does not exist, which they feel helps them to remain true to their personal identity during the treatment process. If this includes shopping trips, it may be wise to focus on purchasing scarves, jewelry, hats, or other accessories. This can ensure that anything purchased during this relatively short time will be something that the person will continue to love and enjoy even after the treatment ends. Some find that buying clothing can lead them to having a wardrobe of sizes and colors that they would never wear or would not fit into after they have been cured from their hepatitis C virus. Whatever you may choose to shop for during the treatment process, it may be wise to consider different stores’ return policies. This can help to ensure that anything purchased that may only seem beneficial during times of bloating or jaundice can be easily returned if it is not worn or used during the treatment experience and no longer wanted when the body returns to its previous appearance. This way, no money is wasted.1-3

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. "Jaundice". N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.
  2. "Managing Side Effects Of Treatment". N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.
  3. "Treatment Side Effects Chart - Viral Hepatitis". N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Nov. 2016.