Got the Travel Bug? A Review of Common Infections, Infestations, Bites, and Stings Among Returning Travelers

Matthew P. Vasievich; Jose Dario Martinez Villarreal; Kenneth J. Tomecki


Am J Clin Dermatol. 2016;17(5):451-462. 

In This Article

Dermatologic Conditions That Worsen During Travel

It is worth mentioning that individuals with chronic dermatologic diseases should be aware that travel may exacerbate their condition. In patients with rosacea, many of the common triggers of the disease such as sunlight, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, and caffeine are commonly consumed in greater amounts while traveling and on vacation. Patients with acne and seborrheic dermatitis who travel to warmer climes may flare with warm weather, sweating, and sunscreen creams that can cause follicular occlusion. Acne patients are particularly at risk for this, as many of the topical and systemic medicines given for acne vulgaris cause photosensitivity and merit aggressive sunscreen use. These travelers should also be conscientious to bring appropriate over-the-counter and prescription medications with them on their trips, as 1- to 2-week lapses in therapy may also result in a flare. In patients with psoriasis, the converse may be true as someone whose home is in a sunny locale may experience a psoriasis flare when visiting cooler regions where longer clothing is appropriate for warmth and the extremities are not exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, which suppresses formation of psoriatic plaques. Lastly, it is important to note that even conscientious travelers who make an earnest attempt to pack the topical medicines necessary to maintain their dermatologic condition may have larger tubes and containers of creams and ointments confiscated due to security regulations pertaining to quantities of creams, liquids, and gels that may be carried onto an airplane. If the patient is not prepared to check their bag, they may forfeit their medicines and experience a flare on their trip.