Travelling with Eczema?
Summer Holidays are here again which means, if we’re lucky enough to get away, planning our trips and sorting out what to take.
If you or your kids have eczema It can take a bit more thought and preparation to ensure that your skin doesn’t hold you back this Summer.
This can be overwhelming, especially if you/your family are newly diagnosed or perhaps are feeling a bit rusty after the last few years of lockdowns and staycations.
Just in case...
- Is your travel insurance up-to-date and will it cover you if you need medical attention related to your eczema or allergies?
- Find out where the nearest chemist and medical centre will be to the place you are staying.
- Do you know how to say eczema or ‘I’m allergic to…’ in the language of the country you are visiting? If any allergies we’d really recommend these fantastic allergy translation cards from Allergy UK
Packing the right clothes
For the journey, take light fine layers so you can regulate your temperature easily by taking things off or putting them on. Flights often feel cold but you might arrive somewhere hot.
- Daytime - Take long-sleeved or long-legged cotton garments to protect your skin from allergens and the sun. Our daywear range has lots of options, take a look here.
- Nightwear – This is crucial. Take cotton nightwear (like our specialist range of PJ’s) that covers any sensitive areas of skin so you aren’t exposed to unknown fabrics or washing powders where you are staying. This is a very common cause of flare ups on holiday.
Pack the right toiletries and emollients
- Don’t be tempted to use new toiletries for the first time while you’re away! Stick to familiar moisturisers and do a patch test carefully the week before you leave home for sunscreens if you haven’t used them in a while.
- Pack more emollients than you think you might need, as holiday skin can need a lot more moisture than expected and you may not be able to get hold of any creams that suit your skin while away. If you usually use our Manuka Cream, then why not stock up here.
Bedding / washing
- Take a couple of pillow cases that you have washed at home – this is really important if you or your family have sensitive skin or eczema on your face and is also handy to stuff with clothes or towels for a make-shift pillow when travelling
- Take a small pot of your own skin safe non-bio washing liquid or powder. Washing powders are a very common trigger for itchy skin conditions.
- If you’re concerned about where you’re going to be sleeping then take a cotton double sheet and fold it in half then sew it up (or ask your local drycleaner who can usually do small sewing jobs) along the bottom and side to make a home made sheet sleeping bag. You can also buy these on-line.
Pack your hand luggage carefully
Unfortunately, the stories of this summer's travel delays and lost luggage are legion, so take your essentials in your hand luggage just in case.
- Decant your emollient into smaller pots so you have easy access to it whilst travelling.
- Take a change of clothes so you can switch out of hot sweaty layers.
- Take cotton gloves or an open hand scratch mitten T to cover your/their hands and protect from allergens and scratching during your travels. Ideally bring these in a small cool bag straight from the fridge so they really provide relief.
- Take a refillable (but empty it before security if flying) water bottle. An insulated metal water bottle will keep your water nice and cold and, more importantly, keep you hydrated.
- Don’t panic if you have forgotten something. There are very few things that you can’t now source from the internet at short notice. So if you’ve forgotten to pack your Cotton Comfort Underwear then check out our FAQ page to see how quickly we could get you a new pair.
Know your stress factors and think about how to minimise them
We all know eczema responds very badly to stress and that delays, queues, and uncertainty only exacerbate it. Keep these tips up your sleeve for when a stressful situation arises.
- Distract yourself with music, podcasts, audiobooks etc.
- Practise meditation before you leave - download a meditation app on your phone!
- Mindgames such as crosswords, sudoku and wordle can be also be diversions as well as something all the family can enjoy
- For kids, fidget toys can be useful.
Manage your new holiday environment
- If going somewhere hot, opt for a room with Air Conditioning - don’t forget to keep on moisturising to counter its dehydrating effects.
- On arrival, do a recce of how eczema friendly your room is. Remove any dust-gathering or allergenic items such as scented toiletries, dusty bed covers or air fresheners. If you're in a hotel, leave a note for hotel cleaning staff not to replace them.
Look after yourself
- If you get covered in dust and pollen while you're out, shake out your clothes before you come back inside - don't bring the irritants in with you.
- Wash off dust, sea water, pollen and other allergens as soon as you can, but keep showers brief and lukewarm.
- Stick to your eczema management and skin routines as much as you can - but don't beat yourself up if you forget a cream application once or twice.
If you're going away, bon voyage and good luck with your travel plans. We hope these tips help. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!
With best wishes from the team at Cotton Comfort.