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I would like to start by saying that backpacking was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Scratch that – the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. I couldn’t imagine a better trip.

Not letting eczema get in the way

When I was initially planning on going I was a bit concerned. We wouldn’t be staying in 5-star hotels with beautiful cotton sheets. I also wouldn’t be able to pack a ton of treatment options and I most certainly was not trying to purchase expensive international treatments I’d never heard of before! Although these things were in the back of my head, I tried to pay it no attention. I mean after all I was chasing my dreams here. No way my condition could possibly ruin my entire trip. *Spoiler Alert* It didn’t.

House arrest from chronic conditions

For years I’ve wanted to do spontaneous things. Things that allowed me to truly live instead of just surviving. Between my atopic eczema and ulcerative colitis, you can say I’ve limited myself quite a bit. While a big part of why I haven’t ventured is indeed because of my conditions and self-placed restrictions, it’s also because of my health care provider’s restrictions. From flares to surgeries, you can say I haven’t had much time to travel. For a while it seemed like the only places I was ever meant to travel to were my doctor’s office and the hospital.

Light on eczema relief

Well now that my IBD is in check and my skin is doing much better, I decided it was time. Time to live. A friend and I packed our backpacks, and we were off! I didn’t have much to treat my skin, but I did bring some of my favorite lotion and body wash that always does my skin a bit of good. Even if I would have brought more, I honestly don’t think it would have done any good anyway.

Skin irritation in a new place

We stayed in hostels. The best way to stay, in my opinion! The hostel in London was awesome. We got to meet really cool people and the overall feel of the place was amazing. Although it felt amazing to be there, I don’t think my skin loved the place. I don’t think it was just because of the bedding. I honestly think it was everything. The 7-hour flight, the stress, the weather, everything. I can’t pinpoint one thing in particular that caused my skin to flare in London. It wasn’t terrible but it was aggravated. Something to prepare for (as best you can anyway).

Is it the bedding?

We also went to Paris! Beautiful! I think I did better in Paris solely because we didn’t fly and because the first night we actually stayed in a hotel. The bedding was much better too. I’m not sure if bedding is a trigger for most people, but it definitely is for me. It doesn’t even necessarily have to do be anything wrong with the bedding! Just the fact that it’s different from what I’m used to can cause my entire face to breakout.

A little break from eczema

Although AD (and IBD) make traveling a little more difficult and require a bit more planning, it’s still very much possible! I had the most amazing trip of my life and I honestly didn’t think too much about my skin, at least not while I was there anyway.

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.