Must Have Items to Keep In Your Bag If You Have Eczema
Living with eczema is not only a daily physical battle, it can often be a psychological too. From icy cold winters to pollen saturated springs, weather issues alone can be brutal for people with eczema. When you consider food allergies and all the harsh, chemical and fragrance laden products we’re exposed to in public—the sheer number of outside factors that can trigger an eczema flare is enough to make your head spin. Just the thought of stepping outside and leaving home can be nerve-wracking.
As a mother of a child with eczema, I understand first-hand the challenges of living with eczema, especially when we’re away from home. To keep myself sane and my child’s skin inflammation under control, I never leave the house without a fully packed bag of eczema fighting supplies.
Eczema supplies I never leave home without
Pocket size CeraVe
I’ve tried nearly every moisturizing cream on the market and CeraVe is one of the only moisturizing creams that doesn’t irritate my son’s skin. (The other is Amlectin, which I also use and keep large supplies of at home.) I love the pocket-size CeraVe because it’s small and compact, and allows me to apply it easily anytime, anywhere.
Unlike traditional lotions or creams, Aquaphor is an ointment similar to Vaseline that can be used to protect, heal and repair dry, cracked or irritated skin. Aquaphor is formulated with 41% petroleum jelly and I use it over my son’s most susceptible hotspots to prevent and avoid infection. I never leave home without it and it’s always readily available and in arms reach at home too.
I limit the use of topical steroid creams and usually only use them as a last resort. However, in the event my son has a severe eczema flare-up, I always carry a supply of steroid cream in my bag. Based on my own experience, I would encourage anyone concerned about the possible side effects and long-term use of steroid creams to consult your doctor. Don’t make the mistake of letting the fear of using steroid creams interfere with your treatment, which is something I did when my son was initially diagnosed with eczema. With topical steroids, most side effects are more prevalent with prolonged usage at higher doses and potencies.
Another staple in my eczema bag is a supply of Vicopaste PB7 zinc paste bandages. The bandages are covered with a thick white 10% zinc oxide paste that acts as a moisturizer and helps cool and soothes my son’s skin during a severe eczema flare. In case of a severe flare-up, I’ll apply a steroid cream followed by the bandages to wrap and protect his skin.
I never step outside without carrying an EpiPen injection with me, and actually keep two at home, two in the car, and two in my bag. An EpiPen injection is filled with epinephrine and can be lifesaving in the event of a severe allergic reaction. It only took watching my child suffer through one severe allergic reaction (to food), and a panic filled trip to the ER, to convince me to carry an EpiPen with me at all times.
Making sure everyone is hydrated is a priority, but even more so for my son and his eczema. Drinking water keeps your body hydrated, replenishes moisture lost during sweating and helps in the detoxification of body fluids. I always carry plenty of extra water bottles in my bag whenever I leave the house.
Carrying these items in my bag won’t stop my son from having an eczema flare when we’re away from home, but it does give me peace of mind knowing that I have them with me to protect and treat him when it happens.
What “must have” eczema fighting items do you carry in your bag?