The worst part about going on vacation is the packing and the traveling. Both can be challenging and stressful for even the most experienced traveler nevermind someone who suffers from eczema or any other skin condition.
If you’re like me and suffer from Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) then packing and going on vacation or traveling for work can lead to all sorts of problems. Whenever I’m going away it seems that I’m never traveling alone, I seem to always be traveling with eczema. It’s my faithful companion but one I would gladly leave at home if I had the choice.
The question is, what do you do when traveling with eczema? And what complications can you foresee?
Complications and problems hide around every corner, from the food you eat to the beds you sleep in. All can have a serious effect on your skin condition and even worse, can cause you to have an eczema flare-up whilst traveling. This is an eczema sufferer’s worst nightmare especially whilst abroad.
Trying to maintain your normal eczema skincare routine is very difficult whilst you’re traveling. Everything is ten times harder especially if you’re on a long-haul flight or visiting very hot countries.
In this article, we’ll cover all areas of concern when traveling with eczema and help you avoid all the pitfalls. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure your trip is an enjoyable and safe one. Don’t let eczema spoil your fun or get in the way of a successful business trip.
Preparing for your trip
There are a number of things you can do to be best prepared for your trip or vacation.
• Check with your airline: Most airlines have restrictions on the types of liquids and creams you can take onboard a plane. The size and type of container they are kept in can prevent you from taking them onboard. There would be nothing worse than having to leave your treatments behind before boarding the plane. We have more details in our article called “Can you take eczema creams on a plane?”
• Tell your Doctor: Talk to your Doctor before you go and see if they can recommend any precautions you should take and ensure you have enough creams or medications before you go. Airlines will sometimes only accept medications if they have your name and address printed on the bottle by the Pharmacy or doctor/GP.
• Check with your hotel: Ring your hotel before you go and check for things like, what type of sheets do they use? Is there any air conditioning? You can even ask what type of washing powder or fabric conditioner they use. We have even taken our own sheets and pillows that are hypoallergenic and a weighted blanket that my son finds easier to sleep with as it reduces stress and anxiety.
• Cream before you travel: Before you make any journey you should ensure that you have moisturized fully or taken/used any treatments you need before you set off. This is in case your journey takes longer than you thought and you can’t use/administer any medication.
• Packing: Depending on where you’re traveling to, the length of the journey and the weather when you get there, you will need to wear and pack suitable clothing. When traveling, we would always recommend light cotton clothing that will not rub against your skin or make you sweat. When you get there you will need clothing that is suitable for the weather conditions. Light and breathable clothes for hot weather and warmer but non-itchy clothes for colder climates are best. We recommend Bamboo Clothing, bamboo is four times more absorbent than cotton and maintains the body temperature by keeping the moisture away from your skin, which then evaporates leaving you feeling dry and comfortable. Perfect for younger children when they can’t tell you how they feel when traveling.
What to eat on your trip or vacation
We all know that diet plays a massive part in managing our eczema condition and controlling flare-ups. When traveling with eczema it is even more important than usual to manage your diet correctly to avoid your condition flaring up.
What to eat is just as important as what not to eat, especially whilst abroad and in the journey part of your trip. Keeping hydrated goes without saying, ensure you drink plenty of water to help your skin maintain as much moisture as possible whilst traveling.
Have you heard of Trigger Foods?
There are certain foods called trigger foods that release T cells that cause inflammation, as well as immunoglobulin-E or IgE, which is an antibody that the body produces in response to a threat. An anti-eczema diet is similar to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Foods which are anti-inflammatory and good to eat:
Foods to avoid when traveling with eczema are:
• Gluten or wheat
• Certain types of nuts
These are just a small selection of the foods that you should or should not eat when traveling or on vacation, for more details and some helpful recipes subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll receive our FREE ECZEMA EBOOK a 44-page guide to managing your eczema.
Sugar causes your insulin levels to spike, which can result in inflammation which will result in your eczema becoming red, sore and itchy.
Items typically high in sugar include:
• Coffee & Tea
• Energy Drinks & Fizzy Pop
• Fast food
Even Tea & Coffee can cause a flare up and is one of the most underestimated drinks that can cause inflammation, especially if you like your tea or coffee milky. Read our article called ‘Is Tea Bad For You?’
Plan for an emergency
Plan ahead and Google the area where you’re staying so you know where to go if you have an allergic reaction or severe flare up. Print off maps with locations and phone numbers.
Planning for an emergency is a sensible thing to do, you may think this is being over precautious but let me tell you, if your phone dies and you need them quickly, you will wish you had.
The last thing you want is the stress of trying to find the emergency room or Urgent care clinic when an emergency arises.
Continue your daily eczema routine
I know that going on vacation or traveling can be very exciting and involve a lot of planning and packing but please remember to maintain your daily eczema routine. The last thing you want is an eczema flare-up just before you set off.
• Continue to moisturize daily before traveling and for the duration of your trip
• Keep out of direct sunlight and use a natural sun-block
• Bath or shower as normal and apply moisturizer whilst your skin is still warm and damp
• Carry small portions of your cream in your bag in case you need them
• Drink plenty of water
• Carry anti-histamine tablets
If like me, you have to apply moisturizer 2-3 times a day it can be very difficult whilst traveling. You can, however, carry a small tub with your favorite moisturizer and cream your hands, face, and arms regularly to help keep your skin soft.
If you apply essential oils to your child’s body you can carry a roller bottle filled with essential oils which will help keep them moisturized and we find easy to apply. We use doTERRA rollerballs filled with essential oils, read our review on which oils we use.
When on vacation protect your skin
Depending on what type of weather you’re experiencing you need to take the normal steps to ensure your eczema stays under control.
Number one rule with eczema in hot weather is to keep hydrated and use a natural and reliable sun-block. Children are especially susceptible to sunburn and you need to take extra steps to ensure they are safe in the sun.
Swimming in Ocean water is always fun, but is Ocean water good for eczema? It is something that has been argued for many years amongst the eczema community. Some people swear by the salt in the Ocean and say it’s good for your skin. Many people, on the other hand, say it dries their skin and should be avoided at all cost.
Having eczema should never stop you enjoying life and for young children and adults swimming in the sea and playing in the sand is fun. You simply need to take sensible steps to ensure that it doesn’t have a negative effect on your skin. If in doubt, cover up.
My skin seems to love the sun and whilst I’m on holiday it’s always better and feels soft, but that’s only when I moisturize fully before going out and apply copious amounts of sun-block.
Travel friendly eczema products
Many airports will have restrictions on what type of container you can carry onto the airplane. Small plastic tubs are a safe bet and over the counter eczema creams will normally be accepted by most airlines.
There are a couple of products that we recommend you take with you when traveling with eczema for a couple of reasons. Firstly they are small enough to have in your handbag or travel bag and secondly they are good effective creams that have a proven track record for keeping your skin moisturized.
We know many people who use Honeyskin Face & Body Cream which has a high percentage of Manuka Honey and other natural ingredients. It’s available from AMAZON CLICK HERE!
This product not only works well, but it’s also small enough to carry with you whilst traveling and it’s safe to take onboard a plane. It should also be applied sparingly, so this small tub will last you for a while even if you have to apply it to your full body 2-3 times a day like I have too.
About the product
• GMO-free natural eczema cream that is rich in a soothing agent. This creamy balm formulation is thick and moisturizing, easy to apply, but not overly greasy like typical oil-based balms and is a good eczema cream to apply to severely dry, irritated skin and will not burn or sting even the most painful blemishes or open wounds.
• If you’re looking for multi-use eczema & psoriasis cream that can also provide relief as an all-around skin rash cream whilst traveling, then this is it.
• 100% All natural eczema cream
• MANUKA HONEY HEALING POWERS – Recent studies show it’s effective when used to treat wounds and skin ulcers and is effective in promoting healing by forming a protective barrier on the skin whilst guarding against bacteria and infection. Only New Zealand Manuka Honey provides an additional powerful antibacterial compound that is derived from bees pollinating the native Manuka Bush.
This cream is packaged in a lightweight 5oz plastic tube which is perfect for traveling and taking onboard a plane. The Kamedis Eczema Therapy Cream is created from the combination of Proven Botanicals and western innovation, this product contains botanicals such as Chinese rhubarb, Licorice, Cnidium Fruit and Great Burnet all have a proven record for their anti-inflammatory properties.
About the product
• Made in USA
• Clinically proven to reduce eczema (atopic dermatitis) flare-ups by 50%, this rich body and face cream nourishes and calms extremely dry, irritated skin, wrapping it in a protective layer that provides long-term relief. Homeopathic.
• Use for symptoms associated with eczema and Atopic Dermatitis, including extremely dry skin. Irritated, itchy skin. Redness and rash.
• This product is brought to you by the combination of Chinese Medicinal Herbs and Western science. The primary botanical included is Chinese Rhubarb (Rheum
• Cruelty-Free, Dermatologist Tested, 60-day money back guarantee, free of steroids, benzoyl peroxide, SLS, paraben, and dyes – Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed. Salicylic acid 1.0%
Final Thoughts before you set off on your trip
No matter how near or far you’re traveling you should always be prepared and ready for any emergency. Take care of your skin before and after you travel and you should be fine.
Never let eczema stop you traveling or going on vacation. Eczema will always be there for most people but you can learn to live with the condition and not let it interfere with your plans.
I have been to very hot places and also very cold places and I now have an action plan for both and you should too. Enjoy your trip and remember, traveling with eczema isn’t too bad as long as you follow some of our travel tips for eczema.