Your eczema has been under control for a while. You have attained that sweet spot of equilibrium where your known eczema triggers are understood and avoided, whatever medications you take are working and not causing side effects, and your skin is as good as it gets. Only one problem, you will be travelling soon.
Travel eczema occurs when your body meets up with irritants and allergens you cannot control, as a result of not being on home turf. Whether it’s air, water, food, sun, soaps, detergents or weather, travelling presents some hard-to-solve problems trying to keep eczema in check.
Sometimes it’s the irritant or allergen you are exposed to that you would usually avoid, that causes the problem. But sometimes, just the change of routine or unfamiliar environments can cause flare-ups. Travelling can be stressful and eczema loves stress.
Here are a few tips to keep eczema at bay:
1. Do a little research
Do a little research into the type of foods you will encounter that are indigenous to the area you will visit. What can you eat, what can’t you eat. Eating the cuisines of other cultures is a major component of travel, and knowing what common additives are used in the preparation of popular dishes is a good way to stay symptom-free.
Pack enough of your favourite medications, cremes, ointments and solutions. Don’t think you’ll be able to pick some of these up where ever you go. First, some products won’t be available, second, they may be very expensive and third, you don’t want to spend time running a round looking for something to ease your discomfort. If you travel to a tropical climate and you start to experience eczema symptoms like flaking and cracked skin, these minor openings are perfect places for more serious infections to gain a foothold, if you have the right medication this will not present itself as a problem. Better to have a little extra baggage than find yourself without your wonder creme.
3. Drink enough water
Try to drink enough water or fluids, this will keep your system less stressed and better able to cope. I try to drink only bottled water that comes as close as possible to the type I drink at home. Means, I drink spring water with a specific mineral/chemical make-up, so much sulfur, dissolved salts, etc., so when I travel I don’t drink mineral waters which may have higher mineral concentrations or added ingredients. If you drink German beer at home, then drink german beer abroad.
4. Use an anti-allergy travel sheet
Pack and use an anti-allergy travel sheet like an Allergic. Bleaches, detergents, soaps, and perfumes are just a few of the triggers a travel sheet will help you to avoid when you spend 30% or more, of your time in a strange bed. An anti-allergy travel sheet, one that can be washed repeatedly, will be your best bet. Make sure, that whichever travel sheet you use has a pillow pocket to protect against direct contact with the hotel pillow. One of the major causes of allergic eczema is dust mite dander. A travel sheet with a small pore size or one that claims protection from dust mites would be wise.
Having eczema and learning how it activates and affects you takes years, some people get a handle on it, others don’t, but even if you don’t know what the causes are, some simple precautions, a little research and remaining calm can help you to get the most out of travelling, even with eczema.