Summer has arrived and while most people are thrilled by the concept of jetting off overseas, travelling can cause havoc for those with eczema and other skin conditions.
Despite living with severe eczema all her life, 27 year-old Camille Knowles has learnt to embrace travelling around the world. Here, she shares her top tips to make it easier for others to manage their skin while going on vacation or a big trip.
Humidity and moisture levels are significantly reduced while on a plane and so to keep your body in its natural state it’s important to drink water every hour, protecting your skin from drying out. Sometimes adding extra electrolyte drops to your water bottle can give you further hydration.
After a long flight you can relieve any stress from travelling by soaking in a salt bath. Immersing your body in water can replenish it straight away so moisture gets directly into your pores.
Nourishing and loving yourself from the inside should be part of your everyday routine to living a life beyond eczema. Eat before your flight or trip and consider prepping your own food box for a long-haul journey. You can’t be sure the food available to you as you travel is made from the ingredients you ordinarily trust.
Certain foods, especially those that are processed, can be harmful for your body. Those with eczema or other skin conditions will know that consuming nutrients and vitamins is very important to protect your skin from break-outs.
Sleep is an important restorative process in which our bodies rest and repair. Meanwhile, our brains process our memories and our dreams help us to work through our worries promoting health and wellbeing. For eczema sufferers, stress is one of the key causes behind flare-ups and so sleep is essential to keep stress at bay.
When travelling a far distance which could interrupt your normal sleep patterns, take a sleep mask and ear plugs so you are able to get some shuteye on route. Try using affirmations, meditation and evening gratitude journaling to allow you to drift off naturally and peacefully.
4 Move your body
Move your body before and after flying to help keep your blood flowing. A yoga flow exercise is perfect to stretch out the kinks and get the blood flowing before and after you have been sitting still for a long while. Having a yoga or pilates app on your phone will help you access great exercises as and when you need it the most. You can also improve circulation while on board a long flight by making small circular movements with your ankles, wrist and neck.
5 Be positive
It’s often a nerve-racking experience to travel far from home comforts when you have a skin condition. Not having a doctor on hand or your lotions with you can cause periods of anxiousness or concern and this negative thought process can trigger stress.
Thinking positively and embracing all the things that travelling and exploring other countries can bring can actually nourish your mind, body and soul.
Make up a small pamper package . Lavender oil provides a calming aromatherapy experience, while a mini cleanser, moisturiser and hydration eye gel can nourish your skin whilst you fly.
7 Be you
When in new situations or surrounded by people who you may not know, it can be easy to follow the crowd because you are fearful they will not understand you or respect your choices. For example drinking alcohol and staying up late may be something that aggravates your skin and causes a flare-up or reaction of some kind. Stay true to yourself by continuing to live the life the way you choose, opting instead to eat, drink and socialise the way you normally would and makes you glow.
Camille Knowles, health coach, skin positivity champion and author of self- help book, The Beauty of Eczema, is available to buy now on Amazon (£14.99).
This article was first published in Allergy Newsletter No. 126 Summer 2019