Traveling with Eczema: What Should You Pack?
Last updated: September 2023
Hello from the United Kingdom!
Traveling this summer has been an amazing experience but also a massive learning curve. Whether you are taking a weekend vacation away or a long holiday trip, it's important to be prepared!
Should you get traveler's insurance?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would need traveler's insurance - and I sorely regret NOT getting it. If you are traveling to a foreign country, it is paramount to find insurance in case something happens, whether that is skin-related or otherwise. Surprisingly, it isn't that expensive. It can cover things like medications and emergency room visits. You are able to choose and tailor what you wish to be included.
What medications should you bring?
Anyone with finicky skin knows how much travel can irritate our immune system. It is vital to have backup plans and 'in case-of' pharmaceutical medications handy. For example, if your dermatologist knows you may need a certain medication if you are prone to infections, they may offer a prescription for you to take overseas or on your trip. For me, I get fungal infections and eczema herpeticum. So, I was able to take anti fungal meds and antiviral meds with me on my trip. I also packed antihistamines in case I came into contact with an irritant.
A major snag
However, I encountered a major snag this past week. The antivirals I brought were not enough for the eczema herpeticum that hit my body. I was extremely unlucky to have contracted the virus but also very lucky to have found a way to get in to see a doctor here. I am unaware of how the entirety of Europe works, but in the United Kingdom, Medicspot.co.uk saved my life, literally. I was able to get an online doctor's visit within 24 hours. It cost me around $60. After the lovely doctor saw me, I was given a prescription for antivirals. It cost me the equivalent of $15 without insurance (it would have been free with insurance) for the drug. Know your options!
How much clothing should you pack?
I always find being over-prepared to be necessary in this department. Sometimes our arms or legs flare, so it's nice to have extra comfy clothes or ones that are more breathable with you. We aren't always able to wear exactly what we want, so bringing options gives us more comfort and security.
Should you bring bedding?
Just bring a pillow case. We never know what lurks in a guest bed, be it a hotel or Airbnb. It's never a bad idea to take your own.
Is it too much to bring bath soaks?
Soaking in a dead sea salt bath or epsom salt bath can be a great way to calm the skin while acclimating to a new environment. I know having a bathtub at my last few Airbnbs was clutch! I was able to keep my skin moisturized to the max. These special soaks can also help keep staph at bay.
What about staying hydrated?
Water! Do not forget - treat yourself like your favorite house plant. Long hours of travel can wreak havoc on our skin. Keep it hydrated, be it water, coconut water, or something else with electrolytes.
What vitamins should you bring?
We know it's easy for our immune system to go awry in any normal scenario, so let's help it out even more when we are on a vacation. Vitamin C (especially liposomal) is definitely a vitamin to keep in the arsenal, as well as zinc for skin healing, Vitamin B6 for skin maintenance, and Vitamin D to possibly help suppress inflammation. Of course, we are all different, so make sure to take whatever vitamins are best for your needs.
Wherever you are off to, I hope you have an amazing time! What are some travel trips of yours?
How does your eczema reoccurring make you feel?