Planning a getaway?
Don’t let your skin get in the way
Taking a vacation is a great way to de-stress (which can be an especially good idea if your skin care concerns are causing you to feel anxious or unsettled). By all means, get away for a bit. Relax and recharge. Forget your worries.
But don’t forget to take care of your skin.
You would hate to undo all the valuable vacation de-stressing by coming home to worse skin symptoms. Or, even more frightening, imagine finding yourself in the middle of a flare-up while on your much-awaited holiday.
Instead of worrying about it, do all you can to protect yourself from flare-ups before you take off – and then avoid them as best you can once you’re there.
Consider the weather before you book
When you’re looking at vacation destinations, think about what the climate might do to your skin. If you are prone to facial redness, you’ll want to avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures, which could trigger flushing. Someone with psoriasis, on the other hand, may be better suited to a hot and humid location, as cold, dry environments tend to worsen symptoms. With eczema, it’s best to think about how you typically handle different climates, since triggers differ from person to person. Do you tend to flare up in the heat? Is your skin best when the air is dry or humid?
Protect yourself with what you pack
Not willing to compromise your plans for a beach vacation? Fair enough! But be sure to bring enough sunblock to keep your skin protected while you’re soaking up the rays. Keep in mind that a burn can trigger a psoriasis flare-up. And (sunburns aside) sun exposure can cause increased facial redness as well. Pick up a product with SPF 30 or higher – and then don’t forget to apply it regularly.
If you’re living with eczema, you’re probably well aware of certain fabrics that cause your skin to flare. You’re also likely used to seeing symptoms start when you’re overheated. So pack accordingly. Bring layered looks so you can cool off if you need to. And stick to sensible fabrics you’ve worn in the past rather than trying something new that might make you react. You also may want to bring your own laundry detergent if you’re planning to wash your clothes while you’re away.
Make sure there’s moderation in your “vacation mode”
It can be easy to get carried away when you’re on holiday. Maybe you’re more inclined to indulge in dessert or have wine with dinner (okay, maybe even an afternoon “happy hour”). While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it’s important to know when enough is enough, particularly if the food or drink you’re enjoying has been known to trigger your symptoms. Alcohol, for example, can worsen both facial redness and psoriasis in some people. And hot or spicy foods can cause flushing.
If you have eczema, you also won’t want to over-do it by overly exerting yourself during your planned activities. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hike to the top of the trail or ski every hill or join your friends in a rousing game of beach volleyball. But you should take steps to keep yourself cool during any intense exercise to avoid triggering your symptoms.
Whatever you do (or don’t do), if you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, you’ve already taken the first step to preventing flare-ups by reducing stress. Hey, maybe you should plan to take a vacation more often – for the sake of your skin, of course!