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Blog: Holidaying with a skin condition

For dermatology patients who may have complex needs and other health related problems more planning before a holiday is needed

As I sit at home in front of my log burner with snow on the ground and background TV (I cant work in silence) I wondered what I would cover in this blog? Of course in the months after Christmas we are bombarded with holiday deals and adverts on the TV. So have you booked yours, are plans in place, are passports up to date and are your ready to go? For dermatology patients who may have complex needs and other health related problems more planning is needed. Prior to booking they should consider the holiday destination, type of accommodation and where they would access medical care and how far they would be from the nearest doctor and hospital. Practical issues when there include:

·      Choice of accommodation, as they may need to consider what washing and bathing facilities are available in order to maintain their skin care routine, and the storage of treatments, some may need fridge storage or need to be kept cool.

·      Some medications are bulky so flying baggage allowances should be looked at.

·      Travelling with medications in hand luggage may require a letter from healthcare professionals and there may be limits on sizes of products that can be taken on flights. Many of the topical treatments come in a variety of sizes so small pots and tubes can be prescribed for hand luggage and larger sizes packed in the main luggage.

·      Travel vaccinations should be discussed with the GP or practice nurse.

·      Check travel insurance covers medical emergencies and covers pre-existing medical problems. If travelling within Europe, apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

·      For allergy suffers there are great practical tips from Allergy UK.

·      Consider the environment, for example are there any potential triggers for patients to flare?

·      Sun protection is applicable to all, but for dermatology patients some of their medications applied topically or taken orally can make them more sensitive to the sun.

The above tips and resources below are common issues I discuss with my patients, what I cannot predict is whether their skin condition will improve or flare on holiday. Clinically I see both scenarios and encourage them to follow their dreams and enjoy!! We all need a ‘summer holiday’ or for that matter any time of year.


Cover your healthcare abroad –

Hand luggage restrictions at UK airports –

Travelling Abroad with a Food Allergy –

Travel Vaccinations –

SKcin –