An open bag containing a towel, toothbrush, and skincare products is pictured while the background changes from night to day.

What Should You Keep in an Overnight Bag?

Your 20's is a time when you date. A lot. I’m not sure whether it’s because of your biological clock, or a combination of societal pressures and your biological clock, but the fact of the matter is that people in their 20's usually date. A lot. And I’ve found that you usually make it work no matter what. Whether healthy or ill, you’ll date. It’s just a natural instinct to desire intimacy with another human. This incredible desire to date also seems to come back after a long time of going through TSW.

Finding a match regardless of your skin state

And now with dating apps, it’s been made even easier than ever. Don’t believe me? Download Hinge or Tinder or whatever your dating app preference is. Post a lovely picture of you. Post an ugly picture of you. Post a picture of you with your eczema looking tame and moisturized. Post a picture of you with your eczema looking angry and red. It does not matter - you will receive a notification that someone is interested.

Going out on a date

Now that you’ve filtered through all the people you are not interested in, you’ve finally hit it off with someone you find attractive. Conversation just flows naturally and now they’ve asked you on a date. Now comes the dilemma. It’s one thing to talk and be flirty online, in the comfort and safety of your own home. But to actually meet someone and interact in-person? Even if you have a naturally outgoing personality, just the thought of physically interacting with a new person can be stressful.

Staph infections and eczema

Why? Because we eczema warriors are more prone to staph infections. Yay. I know. I’ve definitely had my fair share of them. We already have lots of staph on our own skin, but combine it with someone else’s staph and it can be a nightmare.

Hitting it off

To say that the night is going well and you really hit it off with this person. Drinks are finished, you nearly licked the plate after that delicious dinner, and now you’re splitting dessert. How cute. So what do you do now? I mean, what do you do now if you’re the flirtatious type and just like to see where things go without having too many pre-set rules in place? Well, other than texting your closest girlfriends your location and not waiting several dates before kissing the guy, you need to have planned ahead.

Packing an overnight bag

What? That’s annoying. You already had to groom and get your eczema to look presentable and now I’m telling you that you also had to have planned ahead with an overnight bag and everything just in case? Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. In new situations, we need to control the factors that we can. Unfortunately with eczema, we are constantly having to be a step ahead of anything that happens, in order to give our skin it’s best chance. Honestly, this is a bag you should have in your car just in case anyway!

Should I stay or should I go?

Fast forward to after the fun takes place. Now you have to decide whether you’re too tired to drive home or not. Better safe than sorry. Okay, let’s look in the bag. You should have your nightly routine essentials with you.

What to keep in your bag

If you use product, you should have the shampoo/conditioner you normally use, the soap/cleanser you normally use, a towel washed in detergent you don’t react to, and hopefully, some sandals to minimize your skin’s contact with foreign germs. Your toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash should be there too.

Reducing the risk of staph infections

I know it seems cute to just use whatever the person has lying around - either their toothpaste, an extra towel, or shirt - but remember that you need to minimize all foreign staph, and keep to your normal routine as much as possible. Vitamins, supplements, and whatever you normally take with your meal in the morning should be in the bag too. Now dress in the extra clothes you brought and take that extra sarong and lay it down on the bed to minimize foreign staph and give yourself a high-five for giving your skin it’s best chance to live it’s best life.

Better safe than sorry!

I know it seems like much, but trust me when I say that this helps minimize the chance of infection. Of course it doesn’t completely protect you from it, but being prepared really does give you your best chance. Good luck in the dating world, and remember to still have fun!

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