Skin picking travel tips

Tasneem Abrahams
Feb 26th, 2017

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There are some unique challenges that come with travelling simply because you have to try and adapt to the new environment and also try and keep your daily routine that you’ve been doing on track. Preparation is there for key, make sure that you are both physically and mentally prepared so that you are sure that you can handle a different environment.

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At home, you have all your bottles and brushes and jars and cloths and whatever else you need within easy reach. You can take care of your skin like you should, with some products for morning, others at night, and still others for midday refreshers. Everything works like it should, because you know how your skin acts at home. You know the climate and how your skin reacts to it, and when it needs a little more moisture or a serious oil-sopping mask. Your skin thrives with your TLC.

Here are a few tips for skin pickers who are planning to travel soon. Remember: These aren’t meant to be medical recommendations, but they’re tactics that have worked for others and might work for you, too.

Keep your routine

“When away from home, try to stay as close to your daily routine as you can,” For example, if you typically exercise in the morning and then eat breakfast, plan to do this on your trip as well? Traveling when you have a compulsive skin picking can be stressful, but with a little bit of planning, it doesn’t have to be. “Most importantly, build plenty of time into your travel plans for rest and relaxation, that’s the point of the vacation, right?

Your diet

Whereas your skin is used to you chomping down on several fruits and veggies every day, your travel plans may interrupt your usual diet, forcing your skin to adapt to whatever you’re eating. Try and stick to your diet as much as you can. Ditch the sugar-laden sodas and juices and drink water instead. It will help keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

See your therapist if you have one

Before booking your trip, ask your doctor/therapist if you’re medically cleared to travel. Then, make an appointment to discuss your travel plans 6-8 weeks before you leave. Discuss time zone changes, arrival and departure times, and flight durations to determine whether you need any anxiety medication. Depending on where you’re headed, your doctor will also refer you to a travel medicine specialist to verify any destination-specific vaccines you’ll need. It is important that you get vaccinated because there are sicknesses that you need to protect yourself from like malaria that might trigger you to pick your skin. Play it safe and get vaccinated at least a month before you leave — that way, if you have any adverse reactions, you’ll have time to recover before your trip. Plus, since some vaccinations take time to become effective, you’ll be protected by the time you leave. Being sick on vacation may be very stressful and lead to picking

Continue doing things that distract you from picking

Whether you exercise, write, play with fiddle toys, or whatsoever .make sure you keep doing the things that distract you from picking your skin. By doing this you have more to gain and nothing to lose.  

Tasneem Abrahams

Tasneem is an Occupational Therapist, and a graduate of the TLC foundation for BFRBs professional training institute. Her experience in mental health includes working at Lentegeur Psychiatric hospital forensic unit (South Africa), Kingston Community Adult Learning Disability team (UK), Clinical Specialist for the Oasis Project Spelthorne Community Mental Health team (UK). Tasneem is a member of both the editorial team and the clinical staff on Skinpick, providing online therapy for people who suffer from excoriation (skin picking) disorder.

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