Traveling with psoriasis can seem like an inevitable struggle. For years I would have horrible flare ups every time I traveled, but I finally had enough. I realized that were some simple steps I could start taking every time I traveled to make sure that my skin was healthy and taken care of. I’ve rounded up my top 7 tips for traveling with psoriasis below so that you can start enjoying your vacations more.
After just returning from a 2 and a half week international trip, these really came in handy, but they’re also important for shorter trips. To help out, I created an easy packing list that you can find at the end of this article and keep on-hand for your next trip. Just stick it in your suitcase and pull it out next time you’re getting ready for a vacation.
1. Keep Stress Low
You may think, “hey I’m on vacation” , but sometimes there’s nothing more stressful than trying to explore a new city with your cranky aunt and hyperactive sibling. Maybe you’re headed to a relaxing beach town, but maybe you’re heading back home and know that you’re about to run into all your old high school flings. Business trips can also be a challenge since you’ve got work to worry about plus the stress of traveling.
Traveling isn’t always easy, and you need to be prepared for the triggers. Have a game plan in place and all your stress-relief tactics packed. I usually bring a meditation journal and some relaxing essential oils. These help me combat any stress that comes up in the same way that I would be able to at home.
Your stress-relief emergency stash may look a little different. Think about the things that you do to relax and then bring whatever you need to do those things while traveling. It’ll help you stay in your routine as well.
2. Stay Hydrated
When you’re traveling it’s easy to forget to drink. Be especially aware of this on flights which are notorious for drying out skin. Don’t just drink while you’re traveling; be proactive and hydrate up the day before. This will ensure that you’re skin doesn’t revolt.
When you’ve arrived at your destination don’t drop the ball. It’s just as important to stay hydrated while you’re at your destination. If you’re exploring a new city, bring a water bottle with you or budget out a few extra dollars a day to stop into a store and buy a bottle wherever you are. It won’t just make your skin feel better; you’ll feel better overall.
If you’re worried about forgetting to drink, just set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to take a sip. If you’re not quite sure how much you should be drinking every day check out this article.
3. Bring Your Moisturizers
Sometimes your skincare routine might get intense and it may seem like too much to bring, especially when traveling by plane. If you need to leave something behind, don’t let it be the moisturizer. Sure, there may be some at the hotel, but it’s probably not what your skin is used to.
If you just can’t fit it all, don’t worry. There are plenty of travel kits that have smaller, TSA-friendly, bottles that are great sizes for planes or short trips. I try to use these for all of my lotions and makeup when I’m traveling. They save a ton of space and keep everything organized.
If you’re worried about forgetting something use this tip that I’ve developed. The day before I travel I set out all the travel-sized bottles and go about my normal skincare routine. After each step I fill up and label the bottle. This has worked out great for me, especially during my international trips where I’m more worried about forgetting something. I also make sure to bring a bottle of moisturizer with me on the plane! Great for combating the dry air.
It’s also helpful to make a list of everything that you use in a typical day. This will help you pack for future trips and ensure that you’re not missing anything while you’re away from your normal routine.
(Hey… If you’re looking for a good moisturizing mask, check out my January favorite from Mary Kay. It’s a must-have for all of my vacation packing. This is not an ad. I just love it.)
4. Dress for Success
No, I don’t mean bring a suit (unless it’s a business trip maybe). When you’re traveling make sure that you bring comfortable clothes in breathable and soft fabrics that won’t irritate your skin. If you’re planning to do a lot of walking and you know it’s going to be hot: be prepared. Those shorts may be cute, but if they’re going to rub your skin after 30 minutes it’s probably not worth it.
Consider the weather and your particular problem areas. Don’t be afraid to pack your comfy bra if you’re worried about a flare up or maybe even go bra-less. No judgement here. It’s important to be comfortable while you’re traveling
Some things you probably want to avoid:
scratchy fabrics like wool
Keep these tips in mind for your every-day life. Fashion shouldn’t be painful, and you’re clothes might be making your psoriasis worse.
5. Pack a Pillow
This is one tip that most people overlook, but it’s particularly important if you have psoriasis on your face or sebopsoriasis. If you’re sleeping in a different bed they probably us a different detergent than you, which could cause a huge flare up.
I use a hypo-allergenic detergent, and ,before I started bringing my own pillow or pillowcase, I would almost always wake up with big flare ups after sleeping on a different pillow. If you aren’t using a hypo-allergenic detergent I recommend switching to one for a while and looking for my upcoming post on the detergent that I’ve been super happy with.
When there’s not room in your luggage for a pillow just bring the pillowcase which will help protect your face from any foreign irritants. If you know your skin is particularly sensitive to detergents, you might even want to bring a sheet. Since my worst areas of psoriasis are on my face and scalp, just bringing a pillow case has always worked for me.
6. Keep Track of Your Meds
I don’t use any prescribed, oral meds right now, but if you do make sure that you bring them.
If you’re traveling by plane check the TSA website to make sure that you’re following all TSA regulations and have everything in properly labeled bottles. Try to bring this in a carryon so that you have them, even if there’s an issue with your checked bags.
If you’re just going by car or other means consider organizing your pills into a pillbox or maybe the EllieGrid which we love. This will save space in your suitcase and help you stay on track. I always try to bring an extra dose or two just in case I lose a pill or have to stay longer than I expected.
It’s easy to miss a dose when you’re on a different schedule or busy having fun. If you’re particularly worried about forgetting, just set a timer on your phone.
7. Protect Your Skin
Sunshine is great for clearing up psoriasis but make sure that you’re properly protecting your skin. That means packing the sunscreen and committing to applying it as often as needed. Don’t forget the spots that you may not think of like your hair part, ears, and feet. Consider packing a hat or covering up if it’s not too hot.
The last thing you need is a sunburn on top of your psoriasis. There are plenty of options on the market including sensitive formulas for faces and sensitive skin and easy-application options like spray bottles. There’s really no excuse to not take care of your skin (whether or not you have psoriasis). In the long-run your wrinkle-free, healthy skin will thank you.
To wrap it up
As promised, here is my packing list for traveling with psoriasis. Each of the tips is covered in it, so it should be all you need to start packing for a psoriasis happy trip. Hope it helps!
Thank you for following our blog. I hope this community of positive psoriasisters brings you joy just as much as it brings you helpful advice. If there’s something you think should be on this list or something you want us to write about just let me know in the comments!
Best of luck wherever you travel. I know many adventures await you.
Reminder: We’re not doctors, so take everything you read with that in mind. These tips have worked for me, but everyone’s psoriasis is different.