Treating Yo’ Pself, When You’ve Forgotten Your Skin Meds

Last updated: November 2018

My health has sidelined me from so many things in life. A few years back, I decided travel would not become one of them any longer. Unfortunately, when my psoriasis started to flare up, things got a little uncomfortable during flights and even during road trips. I spoke with my doctors and was supplied with the proper accouterments like ointments, steroid creams, salves, and foam. They all served their purpose at some point, which was great. Except for one thing… they can’t work if you forget to bring them with you!

Yeah, that was a fun trip. And by fun, I mean dry, flaky, breaky and a little excruciating.

Don’t panic! Too late, I’m panicking!

I was on a two-week trip to visit family and had been assigned a speaking engagement in the middle of the trip that would take me away for two nights. Rather than taking a large suitcase for the two-night excursion, I downsized to a smaller bag with just enough items for the side trip. Sitting in the bathroom at my cousin’s home were the potions that kept my skin accommodating to life.

The absence of said skin saviors was discovered when I got to the security line at the airport. Once seated waiting for the plane, panic set in. I began to bargain with myself that it was only for two days and could make it. Then, of course, I debated on if there was enough time to get an Uber back to my cousin’s home and then make it back to the airport and through security again. There wasn’t.

The temperature and humidity change had taken a toll on my skin, as I’m from Florida and it was winter in Nebraska. I assumed, rightfully so, Wisconsin would be no better. The angry skin was affecting me from head to toe, and everywhere in between, if you get what I mean.

Making the best of what's available

Once settled in at the hotel, I figured I would go through everything I brought one more time before looking for a drugstore to find skin relief.

Admittedly, I’m cheap. I have a budget that I try to follow religiously. It eats away at me when I have to make a purchase outside of budget that wasn’t necessary. Luckily, this last-ditch effort proved successful. In my makeup bag was a tiny container filled with extra virgin coconut oil. Woohoo!

I had put that in there when a new waterproof eyeliner was a little too waterproof. Naturally, I did what most other millennial/zenial folks these days would do. I made the following search in the Google Box – "Psoriasis Coconut-oil Sugar." You’re probably wondering about the “Sugar” portion of that lookup. Google populated that part in there and I read on.

Treat yo’ pself

What I learned was, that I could use some of the items found in the hotel room’s coffee and kitchen area to make a moisturizing scrub. Coconut oil mixed with a sugar or even a salt packet makes the perfect exfoliating scrub that leaves your skin sloughed and moisturized.

Bonus, if the kitchen area has extra virgin olive oil in packets, you can use that to make a scrub with salt or sugar, as well! I opted for sugar as the mix-in ingredient and created the hopefully soothing concoction. It was. Thank goodness!

I started with slathering it on my forearms and on top of hands where my skin is usually most affected. Then, I chose to not scrub as much in the areas where psoriasis was active and present. I probably could have, but was wary since I had to speak the next day.

My must-have travel items

After giving a few similar talks, I began to become worried if audience members could see the flakes fall off my arms in the shadows of the projector's stream. They probably couldn’t but it was a worry I couldn’t erase. After getting out of the shower, I used more coconut oil on the more affected parts of my skin to moisturize again. Rarely will I touch hotel moisturizers or lotions unless it's a brand I'm familiar with.

I now try to always keep a container of coconut oil with me whenever I travel. If the hotel room doesn’t have a sugar caddy in its coffee station, it’s fine because I usually keep a travel coffee kit in my suitcase anyway.

It’s been a few years since this trip. I’ve now added Epsom salt to my travel-kit-packing routine if I know there will be lots of walking or standing involved. Even if there isn’t a bathtub, I will sanitize a sink just to make a foot bath.

Have you ever found yourself in a pinch while traveling and went the DIY route to make your skin feel better?

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