I have suffered with Eczema since I was little, so I am used to Eczema disappearing and then reappearing again – just at the most annoying moment, in the most obvious place.
The worst place I have ever suffered from eczema is on my eyelids and around my mouth – both very visible areas but also extremely delicate, making it difficult to treat with steroids. Although I did finally get rid of the eczema from my face, it does still appear sometimes in patches over my body and it is very difficult to shift.
In my early twenties I was lucky to escape, suffering from only rare bouts of eczema, however whilst I was travelling in New Zealand it decided to rear its ugly head again, on my hands and wrists – such a tempting and easy place to scratch, making it worse.
I had packed some hydrocortisone in my backpack ‘just in case’ so I started to apply that, however after almost 2 weeks it didn’t seem to be getting any better so I decided it was time to take myself to the chemist.
I ended up walking out of the chemist with a HUGE (500g) pot of emulsifying ointment, and a tube of hydrocortisone with an antibacterial agent in. As I was almost at the end of my backpacking trip, my backpack was bulging at the seams already, and now I had to try and squeeze in a 500g tub of ointment – a challenge to say the least.
Although I am still battling with the eczema on my hands, I thought I’d just leave you with a couple of tips if you’re backpacking with eczema:
- Take your normal eczema creams/medication with you – even if you aren’t suffering from eczema before you leave, it is worth taking some ‘just in case’. If you want to save space, pack sample sizes in handy travel bottles like these.
- If you don’t want to take eczema cream with you then make sure you write down the name of your eczema treatment and the strength so you can ask a pharmacist for it if necessary.
- There are a number of online chemists that offer worldwide delivery, for example, Chemist Direct. You can have your order delivered to your next destination so you don’t have to carry huge tubs around with you.
- If you start suffering from eczema whilst travelling, it is important you see a pharmacist as soon as possible – it is easy for eczema to become infected in humid climates, and the sooner you start treating it the better.
Non-steroid creams that have helped my eczema:
Cetraben emollient cream – I apply this throughout the day as it soaks into my sink really well and doesn’t transfer onto my clothes easily. It is also available in pump bottles in a variety of sizes from 500g to 50g!
Emulsifying ointment – I apply this in the evening as its very greasy (like thick Vaseline) and it soaks in better at night – it can be a little annoying to use in the day as it easily rubs onto clothes. I also use this ointment to wash my hands instead of soap as normal soap is too harsh on my skin. It is also available in different sizes from 500g to 100g.