Flying With Eczema Medications
Last updated: May 2021
A few years back, I was on the road to Gatwick Airport. I was going on holiday to Italy. I made the monumental error of not making a list of all my prescribed medications. I now understand that if you are traveling abroad with certain medications, you need proof to show the airport security. Fair enough. I thought I was all clever by packing my Epaderm ointment in a smaller jar because I know you cannot take huge tubs of anything through security. Perhaps I did know about this (the medical prescription) but made a subconscious decision not to take it. I have an overwhelming fear of flying, which has gotten worse over the years. So maybe it was my hope that I would be turned away at Passport control and told never to return to these parts. Who knows?
Hand over your meds, kind sir!
I knew I was in trouble when the security staff began to inspect my little jar of Epaderm as if it was a substance from a faraway galaxy. Even when they could see I was smothered in facial eczema and had the ointment caked all over my face. Still, I totally understand the need for safety, but I found the whole episode darkly amusing. My then-partner referred to me as a total door-knob because I should have anticipated this and prepared accordingly. Of course, she was right. Anyway, five minutes went by, and I could see the airport security staff deliberating with each other. I started to get all stressed.
Forced to leave my Epaderm behind
I felt like that bloke in the 1978 film Midnight Express. He tries to get through Turkish customs with a load of drugs strapped to his body. In my case, I had about three inhalers and some antihistamines on me. Not quite as glamorous, sure. Nevertheless, it's funny how people in authority can make you feel. When the lady returned with my jar of Epaderm, she regrettably informed me that she would not allow me to board the plane with it. I tried arguing my case by saying that if she was fine with my variety of other meds, couldn't she just give me the benefit of the doubt with the Epaderm? But she couldn't and didn't.
I struggled to get my skin under control
That holiday in Italy brings back bad memories of going to several pharmacies, traipsing around supermarkets and health stores to find a moisturizer that worked. We spent loads of money on creams, lotions, and ointments, but nothing seemed to work. The weather was blistering hot that summer and my face and body looked quite raw, almost like a burns victim. In the end, I settled for some aloe vera gel which was quite cooling to the skin but stung a little, and also bought the Italian version of E-45, which, normally, I can't stand, but these were desperate times. I also had to stay out of the sun for the remainder of the holiday, which sort of defeats the whole point of going away for a summer break. It's slowly becoming my catchphrase, but...another lesson learned.
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