Cold Weather Travel Tips With Psoriasisby Joni Kazantzis Patient Expert
Traveling for fun or business always poses some stresses as you prepare for your journey, but the added layers of cold weather and psoriasis can bring some additional stressful challenges. In turn, that could result in triggering a flare or making a current one worse. Here are some travel tips to get you comfortably to your final destination.
Create a travel checklist
Create a comprehensive travel checklist that you can use for future trips and keep versions of it for difference scenarios. It should include clothing/accessories, chargers, toiletries, medications, and any necessary travel or prescription documents. Include a section for life logistics, like child/pet care instructions, collection of mail, snow/bad weather instructions, work coverage, notifying family or colleagues, etc., to leave no detail forgotten.
Consult your doctor
Consult with your doctor: Ensure all prescriptions are up-to-date and you have enough left to cover the length of the trip, plus a few extra “just in case” days. Take precaution and ask for a written prescription to keep with you in case something happens to your medications along the journey.
Know travel policies with your meds
Before packing your medications, research the policies about traveling with them and if necessary, request a note from your doctor about traveling with certain medications, to avoid any potential hold-ups through security.
How to pack: Important stuff in carry-on
Sometimes luggage doesn’t always make it at the same time we do, so pack any medications, supplements, travel-size topicals, and lotion in your carry-on.
Don't forget to hydrate (for cheap)
Bring a water bottle and fill up at airports, train stations, and bus stations to stay hydrated, as the heat can make stale air even dryer. Throw in some healthy snacks to curb temptation of the usual junky travel and road-trip snacks.
Dress in layers
It might be cold outside, but the heat is usually cranking, so wear layers and bring a soft scarf that can help add an extra comfy, layer of warmth. Ensure nothing is too tight and the layer closest to your skin is made of cotton or a similar light fabric.
Don’t forget chargers and put your travel documents in an easy-to-access place!
Packing your clothes
Your clothing choices will be determined by where you’re going, but stick to loose layers of breathable fabrics, like cotton. Those warmer, heavier fabrics that are common for winter can irritate psoriasis, as can tighter clothing. Layers will allow for dressing to the weather and the temperature inside.
Packing your products
Most likely wherever you’re staying will have soap and lotion, making it tempting to skip packing those. Bring the products you use daily to avoid wreaking havoc on your skin. No matter what fancy brand your hotel has partnered with, the combination of the heater, the water, and new soap will completely dry out your skin and those mini lotions barely cover one leg.
Pack for the sun (and bugs!)
Regardless of temperature and destination, pack sunscreen and bug spray. The sun done smartly can help your psoriasis, but a sunburn or bug bite could irritate your skin or even trigger a flare. And protect your eyes with some sunglasses!
Don't forget to stay healthy
If it’s the holidays or a well-deserved vacation, it’s easy to get off track and indulge in treats and fancy drinks but try not to make every meal a cheat meal. Colder weather lends itself to comfort meals and sugary, caffeinated drinks, but your body will thank you for the nutrients you give it!
Don't forget to check the food/water
Enjoy in-season and local cuisine, but do some research before you try new things as you don’t know how these foods react with your skin. Also, ensure the water is clean to drink and wash food with. Infections can increase your risk for a flare and are even higher if you’re taking a biologic. But it’s incredibly important for your health and skin to make sure you’re staying hydrated!
Don't forget your vitamins/supplements
If you take vitamins or supplements, leave them out where you’ll remember to take them or set an alarm to remind yourself. Keep your body on routine as much as possible. Even if you’re on vacation, your psoriasis is not.
Keep up your exercise regime
If you normally exercise to help with psoriasis symptoms, stick to it as much as possible while you’re traveling. If it’s too cold outside, hit the hotel fitness center or stream a workout to your laptop or phone.
If you get the opportunity, try a local yoga class or activity, like biking, skiing, hiking, or just walking around your destination. The colder weather can already make your skin feel tight and uncomfortable, so change out of your sweaty clothes, rinse off, and apply some lotion as soon as possible once you’re done.