For nearly half of Americans, the pre-boarding process is the most stressful part of traveling.
However, if you’re you’re one of the 7.5 million people in the U.S. with psoriasis, your biggest fear is that a flare-up will ruin your fun. Not to mention that you don’t want to deal with the judgmental eyes of other people.
While traveling with psoriasis presents some challenges, it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. Planning ahead can help you avoid many of the headaches.
Let’s look at five steps you can take to cope with psoriasis while on a trip!
1. Pay Attention to What You Eat
Planning to try new foods while abroad? Who could blame you?
Feel free to let your inner foodie out, but go for foods that combat inflammation. These include leafy greens, berries, fish, citrus, tomatoes, olive oil, turmeric, and nuts.
Stay away from refined carbs, sugary drinks, red meats, processed meats, and fried foods.
Also, don’t order anything without doing a little research first. Look up the ingredients of each dish to see if they contain anything that could worsen your symptoms.
2. Prepare for a Dry Flight
While the ideal humidity for your skin is around 40%, the average airplane cabin has a humidity level of just 20%.
This type of environment is a psoriasis sufferer’s worst nightmare.
You can mitigate the problem by filling your carry-on with a few 100 ml containers of moisturizing cream. Apply cream on your skin every hour during the flight, and make sure you down no less than 8 ounces of water per hour.
Many people who deal with an issue like this use CBD oil, as it has anti-inflammatory properties. You can’t bring CBD on the plane with you, but you can reduce itching and pain by using a CBD product during the weeks leading up to your departure.
3. Put Extra Thought into Your Outfits
Psoriasis patches have the tendency to show up at the worst times (and on the worst parts of your body).
Stay one step ahead of a flare-up by planning all your outfits. Don’t forget to pack your most versatile jumper and pants, even if it doesn’t seem like you’ll need them.
Keep in mind that you might not be able to cover up in every situation. If you travel to a hot climate during the middle of the summer, for example, wearing shorts and a t-shirt could be your only option. In that case, it’s not worth wasting luggage space on excess clothing items.
4. Keep Your Stress Levels as Low as Possible
One thing’s for certain: stress leads to psoriasis flare-ups, which leads to more stress. So how do you deal with this if you’re part of the 6.5 percent of people in the U.S. who fear flying?
Try downloading some of your favorite movies, shows, and songs onto your device, or treat yourself to a new book. Read reassuring stats, and practice meditation, prayer, or deep breathing.
Of course, there’s also plenty of stress involved with packing, riding to the airport, and going through airport security. But working out the day before your flight and following that up with 8 hours of shut-eye should help.
5. Reach out to the Right People
Does your health insurance plan cover care and medication at the place you’re visiting?
If you don’t know, you should contact your provider and find out. They can also answer any questions you have and provide you with tips.
Visit your doctor and ask him or her to prescribe you more medication in case something goes wrong.
Need to refrigerate your meds? Ring up the hotel you’ll be staying at in order to confirm that they have a fridge.
Final Thoughts on Traveling with Psoriasis
By taking steps to minimize your stress, making a few extra calls ahead of time, and using plenty of lotion, you can enjoy your vacay to the fullest. Just make sure to pack several outfits and avoid foods that lead to inflammation.
Now that you know a few tips about traveling with psoriasis, want to avoid getting sick during your trip? If so, read through our guide on boosting your immune system!