Eczema is one of the most common and challenging conditions to deal with during travel. Travelers with eczema often suffer painful flare-ups, and even those without face issues with itchiness, dryness, and irritation. As a result, eczema sufferers must plan months ahead of time for their trips, which can cause anyone to be in a constant state of anxiety.
“Are you going to be able to eat at all?”, “What if I get sick?”, “Is the weather going to make me break out?”, “Will I be able to enjoy the sights?”, “What soaps, creams, etc should I pack to be prepared?”. These are just a few of the questions that eczema sufferers ask themselves. It can be exhausting and frustrating.
We understand how you feel, that’s why we created the eczema travel checklist. Our goal was to create a tool that would empower travelers with eczema to successfully manage their flare-ups and take the necessary precautions to avoid the dreaded breakout.
Make a plan and prepare your bags before you even get on the road. The travel checklist below can help.
Is the Destination an Eczema Trigger?
One thing we know for sure, all of our destinations won’t be eczema friendly. If we could have our skin could have its’ way, every location would be beachside destinations and/or neutral weather locations with perfect weather and saltwater to give our skin all of its benefits, such as [LIST REASONS WHY]
Spring weather locations where the sun isn’t blazing or the environment isn’t too dry can help stabilize eczema flares. We know the perfect & ideal locations aren’t always feasible so check the destination’s weather and reviews for hotels or resorts to confirm the amenities of the indoor environment is conducive to what’s needed, such as guest-controlled HVAC systems. As we know extreme heat and cold weather can dry out the skin, which causes flare-ups or aggravates your little one’s eczema.
For those not-so-perfect travel locations with extreme temperatures, little to no humidity, or pollution, and the like, stock up on your favorite moisturizers now. And if you’re flying, get a 3oz container or smaller to put some in or travel size. And let’s not forget a cool mister to add moisture into the air in your guest quarters, your favorite cleansing soap to work as barriers against the elements and prevent your skin from getting dry, cracked, and/or irritated.
A recap of this quick list:
- Favorite creams/salves to lock in the moisture and don’t forget about SPF for sun protection
- Cool packs for hot temperatures
- Cool mister or humidifier
- Healthy snacks, fruits, water, and electrolytes
- Umbrellas or hats for the blazing sun
How Will I Manage my Eczema During Travel?
One of the most difficult aspects of eczema is that it is so unpredictable, especially if stress is involved. Even on a day with the best weather, stress can cause a breakout. While it’s impossible to plan for every situation, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that you avoid triggering your eczema.
Know your triggers
Once you know what triggers your eczema, you can take precautions to prevent flare-ups.
The best way to deal with eczema is by avoiding triggers as much as possible. This means taking the extra step to double-check labels, calling in advance to confirm the desired foods are allergy-friendly, and carrying extra food as a backup just in case.
Sometimes avoidance can mean missing out on excursions that aren’t familiar or haven’t been heavily researched or you’re not quite sure if it’s a safe idea if it involves new foods or applying items to your skin.
Ask the hotel staff if you have the option to choose a more suitable fabric for your bed sheets or even if they could double rinse your sheets before arrival.
A simple change can go a long way in making your stay a comfortable one.
Medications & Skincare
When we’re packing for travel, especially for little ones.
It’s better to plan for an outbreak than to hope for the best. Environmental changes, new family, or just new adventures with a switch up of schedules can trigger a breakout. Be sure to stock up on creams, salves, bandaids, vitamins but also medications like antihistamines, allergy medications, and epi-pens (can’t forget that) to make sure you’re super prepared.
Will I Be Able to Eat?
With travel comes changes! More than just bedtime and activities, but one of our favorite past times. Eating. Traveling is already an adventure so prepare in advance by researching which restaurants you’d like to try and see if they have a menu that can cater to your little one’s needs.
If you’ll be dining out and want to stay within a fairly healthy diet, pack lots of your fav allergy-friendly snacks that may be hard to find on the road. For eating out, search for allergy restaurants in advance to have a go-to list of restaurants you can schedule or go as needed. Reviewing their websites or even calling in advance to confirm the ingredients of the desired meals takes the stress out of families eating out, especially with finicky eaters. Most importantly, ask how they handle reducing or preventing cross-contamination and their policy and procedures for notifying staff to make sure they handle your order with care. If possible, call ahead to not only reserve your spot but to let the host know a family with allergy concerns are on the way to confirm they are prepared upon arrival.
Give your family a heads up and remind them that your child’s sensitivities and allergies are a very real thing. Sometimes family may not take it as seriously as it should be taken or they don’t really understand how allergies work.
Make a list of foods or items your child is sensitive or allergic to and let family know the difference between a sensitivity (rash, redness of skin, etc) vs an allergy that could lead to anaphylaxis – a life-threatening situation. If families have those items in their homes, be sure to keep them out of reach. And always have an epi-pen on hand with the trainer to show those around your little one’s how it works in case of an emergency.
Also, a step by step of your skincare routine is an amazing way to relieve any stress on you or family members taking care of your child while you’re away. While it may seem like being overly prepared, you’ve now created a quick reference to any questions or concerns you can use for family, friends, babysitters, and even caretakers when you return home.
How Can I Protect My Skin from the Sun?
Skin is the human largest organ. For those with sensitive, itchy, or even eczema rash-prone skin this is the most challenging organ to keep calm. We want to make sure to protect your little one’s skin as much as possible. One of the easiest, and perhaps the cutest way to protect your little one’s skin, is to wear a hat and sunglasses to reduce sunburn and sun exposure. Don’t worry if your little one takes off their hat the moment it touches their head, keep a stash of safe sunscreen available and an umbrella for days when exposure may be for an extended time. Golf or beach umbrellas can be a great way to give more shade for your little one to play.
A great way to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays and lock in the moisture, use lightweight long sleeves and pants as a great option or if there’s a concern about being too hot, use a moisturizer with a high SPF sunscreen. We give our favorite list of EWG-approved sunscreen for sensitive skin for kids here. Be sure to review the ingredients a few times to confirm there are no offending, irritating ingredients that can trigger a flare on your little’s skin. No setbacks on our watch. If you’re having a difficult time choosing a sunscreen and need guidance go to EWG.org or reach out to your dermatologist for their choices. Either way, you got this! Be sure to keep a ScratchMeNot or two on hand to safeguard against scratching, and skin damage when you’re busy on the road, traveling, or taking part in new adventures. We may not be able to control every breakout, yet we can definitely help with the scratching of their delicate, itchy skin. Enjoy travel and vacation knowing you’re prepared to keep their skin covered.
I hope our quick travel checklist helps you stay ahead of the itchiness and unpredictability of traveling with eczema. I remember when my daughter was little, it seemed like every state we visited we did a tour of the hospital. All of the suggestions above are things we used when traveling
With a travel checklist in place, you’ll be able to plan ahead and avoid costly trips or missed sightseeing opportunities.
Use this travel checklist to ensure you’re prepared for the best trip yet!