Eczema That Disappears When We Travel? What's Up With That? 4

Eczema That Disappears When We Travel? What’s Up With That?

While traveling overseas, I’ve noticed something peculiar. Our youngest daughter’s eczema, a constant source of irritation while in North America, simply disappears elsewhere in the world.

It’s curious to me, because our diet is not nearly as careful while traveling as it is at home.

Our grains are rarely sprouted or sourdough (in fact, we frequently eat regular wheat when we travel, since we can’t find alternatives like spelt or kamut). We usually can’t find raw milk. We eat far less fermented foods, other than having yogurt as often as possible. We occasionally resort to foods I’d consider junky out of sheer desperation for something to eat.

Whereas at home, we keep her completely gluten free, give her probotics regularly, try to keep up on our fermented cod liver oil, and we serve healing foods like homemade chicken bone broth as often as possible. She has also done the GAPS diet as a toddler, seen a naturopath about her eczema and I personally have learned as much as I can about it for our kid’s sake.

Yet even with all those efforts, we only seem to keep it at bay so that it doesn’t get too out of hand.

With our two older children, we managed to bring complete healing to the issue (my first three children all suffered with eczema and food sensitivities, though with dietary changes, my fourth has not, thank goodness!). But with poor Johanna, it’s just never gone away.

This can be very frustrating and I do wonder if she needs to go back on GAPS for an extended period of time, go completely grain free indefinitely, leave behind dairy (yes, even raw) or some other such change, all things we are contemplating for when we return home this spring.

Eczema That Disappears When We Travel? What's Up With That?

But… when we travel, it all just magically disappears.

Within a couple weeks of being on the road and allowing her to eat freely in another country, bye-bye eczema. And it leaves me utterly baffled.

The first time this happened we were on the initial leg of our around-the-world trip two years ago, living in Argentina for 3 months. For 6 weeks, I did everything I could to find gluten, grain and dairy free options for this little girl, but as time went on, it proved increasingly difficult to get the things I needed, what with the language and cultural barriers, being on the road and needing to eat out frequently, and all those other things that go along with travel.

So we gave up and began letting her have a little dairy, just some yogurt and cheese at first. When that didn’t cause any exacerbation of the problem, we let her eat regular bread with the rest of the family.

And oddly enough, the longer we were out of North America, the more the eczema disappeared.

It stayed away the entire year. She ate anything and everything as we traveled through South America, Europe, the Middle East, East Africa, Asia and Australia.

Our kids eating crepes in France.
Our kids eating crepes in France.

Only about 2 months after returning home did it rear its ugly head again.

It was beyond frustrating.

What intrigued me, though, was that I talked to a few friends about it after we returned and I heard a similar refrain… while they were overseas, their skin/digestive/energy/pain problems went away, no matter what they ate. Bread, coffee, cheese, sugary pastries, beer. It didn’t matter. It was all fine.

But when they returned to North America? Their problems returned with a vengeance.

This winter, our family has been spending some time living and traveling in Europe (similar to our previous trip – we just bring our businesses and homeschooling along for the ride, so it’s normal life in a somewhat more exotic setting).

I determined even before we left that I was going to experiment to see what happened when Johanna left behind her very careful, gluten-free, low grain, more traditional-foods diet back home and just ate whatever food we could find.

Guess what? Within two weeks of arriving in Europe, her eczema began to fade, and now that we’ve been here 5 weeks, it’s completely gone. Gone!

Which leads me to the million dollar question… WHY on earth is it such a struggle back home and a non-issue while we’re abroad?

And this is the part of the post where I tell you that I really don’t know. I’m banging my head against the proverbial wall to come up with a satisfactory answer to this dilemma.


Just what exactly is so different between being home and being out of North America?

Here are some of the things I wonder about:

Environmental toxicity

Is it the level/type of chemicals and toxicity in our local environment? I once heard a wonderful naturopath speak and she used a bucket analogy for many of the health issues that we see today. Everyone has a bucket, but our buckets fill up differently depending on our body’s sensitivities, what we’re each exposed to, genetics, etc. So you can have two people in the same environment, eating the same foods, but one person’s bucket will fill up and overflow (ie. show signs of illness) much faster than the others.

Is Johanna’s “bucket” particularly sensitive to what’s in our local environment? We know that we are certainly all being exposed to various chemicals, some harmful, some not, through the air, water, soil, food chain, etc.

Agricultural regulations

Could it be that the restrictions on hazardous chemicals for agriculture (be they pesticides, herbicides, animal vaccinations and medications, etc.) are so poorly regulated in North America that no matter how clean we try to eat, we are still facing high levels of exposure to toxins? Our family eats as much of our food organic, unsprayed, ecological, home grown, etc. as possible, but there is simply no way around environmental exposure, run-off from other farms, contaminated water supply and all of the other unfortunate realities of the fact that we are not truly in control of what we eat, careful as we may be.

Then again, the other baffling aspect of this, in my mind, is that while some places we visit have much better regulations (such as the European Union), other places do not (parts of South America, Asia, etc.), and we traveled through many different parts of the world.

Our local climate

We live in Vancouver, Canada (in the Pacific Northwest), which is very rainy except during a couple months in the summer, and so it’s usually quite damp and humid. I know that living in a humid climate has negative effects for some people’s health — could it be that eczema is one of them? This one I’d have to test out with us traveling more extensively in North America, perhaps. We did spend 2 1/2 weeks last spring camping through Washington, Oregon and Northern California, but it didn’t seem like long enough to notice a difference.

Her body is in “shock” 

Could it be that suddenly eating differently, the physical stress of travel, or something related causes her body to go into some sort of shock where it hardens itself during the transition, but once things are back to normal, the sensitivities show up again? I have heard anecdotally (though I’m not sure where to find solid evidence of this) that sometimes we don’t actually show symptoms of what’s really happening in our body because it has learned to ignore them.

For example, someone who has abused their digestive system all their life may seem “fine”, but if they actually began to make a change to eating more carefully, their stomach would begin to respond with greater sensitivity and they might even find that in the long term, they can’t go back to how they used to eat because their body can now tell the difference now between foods that nourish it and foods that harm it. This theory does seem somewhat unlikely to me in the sense that while we’re here in France for 4 1/2 weeks, for example, we’re actually eating high quality food, very similar to what we might eat back home, and still the eczema stays away, but I add it in there just because I don’t want to discount anything.

Now that I’ve thrown out my questions and theories, I’m really eager to hear your thoughts.

First, has anyone else experienced this phenomenon with a physical illness disappearing when they travel? And second, do you have your own theory about what might cause this effect?

I probably don’t have to say this, but just for the record, this post is 100% about discussing and postulating and brainstorming, and approximately 0% prescriptive. In other words, I’m not telling you what the answer is, why it happens, or that you should all move overseas to solve your health issues. I just want to open up the conversation with this community of like-minded women and see what your thoughts and experiences are. 🙂

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  1. It could be something environmental. If it is a tree, grass, or mold in your region you would not necessarily be getting away from it by visiting the pacific northwest region of the US which is not particularly far away from Vancouver.

  2. This is super interesting to me. I wonder what the environmental specifics might be? My daughter’s eczema is a constant plague during the summer months, but virtually disappears during the dry winter months. No matter what diet gymnastics we try with her, her reactions really are seasonal. We live in a fairly humid climate (central U.S. east coast) and the eczema gets even worse when we travel south on vacation, where the humidity is more intense. Your post makes me want to spend our summer months overseas, haha! It’s such a frustrating condition, and hers only seems to get worse as she gets older. I’ll be following the comments on this one….

    1. My skin (eczema) had been raised for months. THE DAY I traveled to Jamaica for vacation- almost gone! I had always noticed my skin getting better on vacation but I thought it was just due to less stress or maybe the water… but this proved me wrong because I noticed the difference within hours of arriving (BEFORE I even showered there). I can’t believe i wasted so much time beating myself up about diet, etc when I’m pretty sure that the air is just so bad here that traveling overseas becomes medicinal.

      1. I dont think it is North America in general. I had the same phenomenon happen to me but I traveled from Texas to California. While in California my eczema virtually disappeared. Now that I am back in Texas the itch is coming back. Some parts are completely healed in 1 week of travel. I think its either the humidity or the stress of travel that makes your body forget about attacking itself.

  3. This is also very interesting to me! I’ve struggled with seasons of eczema and some of my children seem to have food sensitivities and related skin irritation. I noticed that my skin was much better when we were on well water as opposed to city water. Maybe the water treatment chemicals? I’ll be waiting to see if you are able to narrow it down to something more specific!

  4. This is fascinating to me! My husband and 3 boys all have autoimmune issues and are extremely sensitive to certain foods (dairy, soy, grains, nightshades). With my boys, it started showing as eczema as babies whenever I ate any of those things. We have a desire to travel someday with our kids, but the food issue has been my biggest concern. Don’t have any answers, bit it gives me a small hope that traveling may be doable for us someday!

  5. My first thought was not to what she eats but what she puts on her skin… what is added to water where you live as opposed to where you travel? Have you changed products? Does she bathe more often or less often?

  6. I would explore spiritual roots. I had horrible eczema on my arms and the backs of my legs, especially when I was approaching puberty. My parents tried everything! But it was finally prayer for healing that completely took it away. (My parents and another couple in our church prayed for me in our living room and anointed me with oil, there was no special pastor or anything.)You may have already explored that, but I wouldn’t give up. Sometimes there’s a journey to spiritual healing. I’ve found very helpful resources through Elijah House Ministries.

  7. For me, I know ag chemicals play a huge role. I react violently to certain non-organic foods like grapes, and we live in the worst ag polluted place in North America, apparently. For my husband, it’s stress – or boredom. If he’s too stressed, eczema goes out of control. Boredom, he absentmindedly scratches his eczema zones and it comes back from being inflamed. We’re going to see an ND to do more testing, but I doubt there’s much we can do except move!

  8. Have you considered that it has nothing to do with diet? We recently moved from New England to the South, and my eczema disappeared as well. I had tried every soap and potion under the sun, and it turned out to be… the water!

    1. I have had eczema ever since moving to Phoenix 9 years ago. I have tried everything, seeing a naturopath, changing my diet, light therapy, prescriptions creams, bleach baths, various soaps, butters, oils, you name it. My eczema also gets better when I travel. I began to think it was the water, so I bought a filtered shower head and just had my first shower and while the red bumps haven’t magically gone away after one shower, my skin is noticeably less bumpy. I cannot wait to see if the red bumps fade in the next few days.

      1. Hi Kim. I’m in the UK and i think mine is water-based also. What kind of shower head did you buy plse and did it work? Desperate to solve mine. 1day home from USA 1wk hols where it cleared (and the water certainly tastes extremely different) and i can feel it all coming back!

    2. I have eczema and live in WA state. I also have severe allergies to dust mites and trees, grasses and weeds.
      When I travel to the hot arid environment of Arizona it disappears until I go back to WA. I feel in my case it has something to do with the humidity or the different plants and trees in AZ.

      1. I have suffered with adult eczema for years. I had mild eczema as a child but it came back when I was 15 and always flared up during periods of stress. I tried everything and eliminating dairy too. But I moved to Dubai, UAE and it just went. No dietary changes. However, whenever I return back to London it comes back. I’m currently visiting now and its really bad between my thighs. I’m starting to think it might be the hard water.

  9. We experienced kind of the opposite. My son had his first bout with eczema at 16 months old WHILE on the plane to Ecuador. Literally, one cheek was flared bright pink by the time we exited the plane. It persisted throughout the trip and for a few weeks after returning home, then improved a good deal with topical and very minor diet adjustments, but never fully resolved. For several months after, it was hardly noticeable, but would flare when he got a cold. I’ve always wondered what it was about that plane ride that triggered it.
    All that to say, I don’t know either, but feel like the travel piece was too big of a coincidence not to be related. Please share any conclusions you come to!

  10. Personally, my skin problems are caused by neither diet nor the larger environment. They’re caused by 1) a sensitivity to the soaps, detergents, and baby wipes I was using – most especially the liquid soap I use to shower had recently added a strong irritant and 2) an extreme allergy to a house plant. You may be seeking big, scary villains when in reality, it is some small irritant in your own home.

    Also, small children can get this problem simply by frequent bathing – so says a doctor in our community.

  11. Have you considered the water that you bathe in (and drink)? Do you have well water in Canada or municipal? My guess would be chlorine and other chemicals in the bath water!

  12. Hey Steph,
    I am a biology major and have heard from professors who specialize in genetics that some genes can selectively on and off at different conditions. Causing different levels of protein expressions and display of different phenotypes. Like how there are many people who develop allergies at a later age. But again, this is only my theory heheh. I wish you all the best in identifying the cause!

    With love

    1. Same thing happened to me. I live in Switzerland and have been dealing with severe exzema on my hands. I did GAPS Intro at the beginning of the year, went on quite quickly and my exzema startet coming back in September. (Usually during and after summer my exzema is gone). Through autumn I suffered from it severely. Nothing seemed to help. No GAPS stage 1/2, no tallow no baths, I would wake up at night because of the itch and not be able to fall asleep again. On December 18th we travelled to Brazil. The flight was horrible because my exzema would flare up and be sooo itchy. 1 day after arriving, I sunbathed (burned my skin a bit) and the exzema started to go away immediately. After 3 days, it was almost gone. 3DAYS. I couldn’t believe to be able to walk around, without people having ask me immediately, what the red spots on my hands and arms are. It was crazy. I stayed im Brazil for 2 weeks. I have been back for 1.5 weeks now and my exzema is coming back. BUT it’s mostly coming back on the inside of my arms( the part where the sun reaches less) the outside part of my arms and hands is almost exzema free!

  13. My daughter went to see our Naturopath at about the age of six or seven. She had had eczema for her entire life. He said that the cause was lead in the water and he completely healed it with just a few drops of cilantro oil a day (and something else maybe, but that was the main thing). My son never had eczema, but he probably didn’t have much water from the house we used to live in (which probably had old pipes).

  14. What about chlorine or something similar in the water? I actually find the water in Vancouver to have less chlorine than surrounding areas (and I have no idea about Europe), so maybe it’s moot, but when I left my hometown on Vancouver Island as a teenager, my eczema improved dramatically, without any dietary changes.

    1. I am going through the same issue. Its soo frustrating! We traveled to the Philippines to my wifes home and the eczema vanished. Gone just gone no dietry cautions. We live in the u.k with a similar climate.
      I get the feeling its definately environmental.

  15. What a mystery! I Australia I live in Hobart, Tasmania with a similar climate to Vancouver and I get mild eczema in winter. But in dry Saskatoon, SK (where we are living for 2 years a), no eczema! Very strange.

    I hope you work it out because eczema can be such a pain for some poor kids.

  16. What about mold issues in your house? I’ve heard they can cause low-grade skin, immune, and gastrointestinal issues – that wouldn’t be present when you aren’t home. Maybe?

  17. Hi Stephanie,

    My daughter had bad ezcema from 1-2 years old and we saw a specialist nurse who recommended not washing her as often. We use a washcloth once a day just to keep her hygienic but she only has one shower a week and no baths. She’s had no ezcema now for 18 months. I don’t wish to be personal but could you be washing less whilst travelling? This seems to be fairly common advice here (UK) and we were told that washing too often strips natural oils and removes normal bacteria that have a protective role for the skin

    Best wishes as you look for answers


  18. Well, my eczema seems to be pregnancy-induced, but that’s certainly not the issue with your daughter! 🙂 But I wanted to mention it because I think hormones can cause flare-ups in eczema. Once, though, when I was pregnant and in the throes of torturous itching, I got very sick (high fever, serious cold symptoms, etc.) and the itching totally disappeared while my body was healing. As soon as I was on the mend, the itching came back. So I’m sure if your body starts having to deal with something else unusual, it could affect the eczema.

    Eczema is so mystifying, and thank you for sharing your experiences! Love reading the comments and I hope you can figure out some triggers for her. Maybe there’s a different kind of stressor at home that’s minimized while traveling? (Laundry soap? Fiber that clothes are made out of? Surely you’ve already tried those, but just a thought. 🙂 )

    1. Right, I’ve heard of hormonally-affected eczema or skin issues before (and clearly, not the case yet for a 5 year old), but it IS truly mystifying at times, isn’t it? We’ve changed a lot of things with laundry soaps, cleaning, etc. We haven’t gone deeply into what she wears (which is mostly cotton), but then again, she wears all those same clothes on the road. So many things to think about, right? 🙂

    2. Reading your story reminds me of my theory behind Eczema, I believe it comes from vaccines overstimulating and confusing the immune system, so when you were sick, your immune system was fighting the cold, when you were healthy it was fighting your skin, which it blindly confuses as a foreign intruder, I just had a baby and it ended up being covered in Eczema right after the 7th vaccine in under 3 months of age, there needs to be more research.

  19. My first thought as I read was your location without knowing exactly where you live until the end. The reason for this is my battle with eczema in my twenties and the affect tanning had on it. Wondering if you daughter is being exposed more to natural sunlight outside while you travel.

  20. Hi Stephanie! I’ve been lurking around your blog for the past couple of years but this is the first time I’ve felt compelled to comment! 🙂

    I have had seborrheic dermatitis (some people consider it a form of eczema – it’s basically like dandruff, but a bad case that even shows up on random parts of my face and in my eyebrows!) off and on for much of my life, and it flared up worse than it ever has before with our recent relocation to California. I initially thought it was maybe the stress of moving or some gut imbalances. I have worked hard on the gut stuff and know that much of that is resolved based on the disappearance of almost all other symptoms.

    Well, over Christmas we went back to visit family in Texas for three weeks. Guess what? My condition completely (or nearly – 95%, and I think it would have been 100 had we stayed longer) cleared up! And the last week and a half was at my in-laws’ place, which is on well water. So I think there might be something to this treated water thing! Another thing to note, in terms of other environmental toxins, is that my in-laws’ house is in one of the most polluted counties, air quality-wise, in Texas, according to an air quality website I’ve looked at before (forget the name!), although their house is in a more rural setting in this area, and the air smells as fresh as can be there, to me. I spent most of my time inside, anyways, because it was cold there over Christmas. I definitely get more sun out in California, so it wasn’t that! Oh, and I also changed nothing about my diet, was just eating pretty much paleo.

    We drink reverse osmosis water here at home and filter bath and shower water, but only for chlorine. I am going to try washing my face (and by washing I mean just splashing water on it now and then, maybe with sea salt, because I’ve heard that works for some people with my condition) with our reverse osmosis water and see how that goes. The only problem there is that I’d have to skip showers because I can avoid getting the water on my face but not so much the steam (guess there’s always cold showers??). I also get steam of my face while washing dishes daily (no dishwasher!). Maybe I could have my husband take over that job for a few weeks, in the name of science? 🙂 Oh, and I’m also considering having the water tested by a reputable business that inspected and tested our home for mold and air quality issues a couple of months ago! Should have ordered the water test the first time!

    Well, for my first time commenting, this has been a long one! I will update if I gain any pertinent information…thanks for posting about this, Stephanie! Best of luck in figuring it all out.

    1. See my post! I wrote that way before reading your post and I think we’re both on to something. Although your post sounds way more scientific than mine haha

  21. could it be the water at home? Or what you’re using to wash bodies/clothes is different abroad than at home?

    1. It is a possibility, although she’s continued to have it even in several different homes, including the one we moved to about 9 months ago in a town that supposedly has really good, pure water. But who knows? 🙂

  22. I suddenly developed atopic dermatitis at age 32. I was in and out of doctor’s and specialist’s offices for nearly six months. I heard everything from “you have developed an allergy to your contacts lenses and will never be able to wear them again” to “you are sensitive to beauty products, fragrance, detergent, etc”. I was so confused! I had never been sensitive to anything my entire life, never ANY skin issues! I left my home for Christmas break and traveled to my father’s house in another state. A day or two after arriving, all the rashes and eye irritation GONE. I was amazed. As soon as I returned home, everything came back. 🙁 This led me to believe that it had to be something in my environment. I started moving furniture, checking window seals, vents, everything I could think of. Guess what? MOLD. When I moved my heavy dresser from the wall, mold all up the wall. When I pulled my blinds up, mold all over the window seal. When I examined the laminate flooring a little closer, mold all in between the slats. I had finally found the culprit. Of course, I’m not suggesting your daughter’s trigger is mold, but I am suggesting that maybe it is, in fact, something in the environment that is triggering her eczema. I pray you find her trigger. I know the frustrations and pains in dealing with something like this. Best of luck! Love to you both.

    1. Right, I get what you’re saying. I’m not sure that mold is the culprit (we didn’t see any mold when we moved out of our last place, nor have we discovered any at all so far in our new home), but yes, that something in our environment is triggering it for her, for some reason. Thanks, Ashley!

  23. Very interesting–and now I’m excited to see if we can eat whatever we want when we go to Costa Rica! LOL

  24. What about stress? Maybe the stress of having to eat differently or is the family environment actually more at ease away from home? Are you able to relax more overseas and she senses that? Especially now that you know her eczema/allergies will dissipate once you’re there. Just throwing that out there. I too would think it was environmental or food allergies, but stress can manifest in all kinds of ways. I used to get hives for a period of time as a kid and then as an adult had some issues with solar urticaria which is being allergic to the sun! Would get hives after about 15 mins. of exposure and I grew up in Florida and wasn’t particularly fair skinned. Anyway…. it magically went away. Have no idea what triggered it at the time with either case. But in hindsight, may have been stress or anxiety.

    1. Good question. I don’t think that she has particularly more stress at home or abroad. She’s very easy going and seems to fit nicely into wherever we are. But, I will say that my husband and I are usually much less stressed when we travel than at home (though not always – sometimes travel has added to our stress). But that’s an interesting thought.

  25. A woman from my parent’s church had always had really bad seasonal allergies and such but then lived in Brazil for a few years and never had problems there. She found out she enjoyed running for the first time in her life while living there because she didn’t have pain or breathing problems. However when she came back her allergy symptoms came back with a vengeance. After multiple doctors she was told she needs to avoid corn, soy, gluten and a few other things. She said their food just doesn’t have all the corn (and soy) like our foods. Very interesting for sure!

    1. Hmmm, I keep hearing themes about eczema and various health problems getting better in warmer climates (I just keep noticing a theme of places like Brazil, SE Asia, Australia, etc.). But as you said, there are definitely the differences in the foods as well. So much to take into account!

      1. I know this is an old post, and I hope you figured out the culprit! I just wanted to add that living in the Pacific Northwest, my eczema clears up when exposed to high levels of sunlight (summer sun and tanning beds only). But this summer I’m getting eczema that clears up when I stay a few nights away from home. I live in a 100 year old house, so I’m suspecting mold and/or dust mites.

      2. Hi!
        I know you originally posted this years ago but I just came across it in my search of what may be causing my newly acquired eczema. I used to live in Colorado for 11 years, Maryland 7 years before that and Germany before that. In 2018 I moved to Seattle where that fall seemingly out of nowhere eczema showed up on large areas of my body. I was convinced it was stress. In the Spring of 2019 I moved to Portland, OR. My skin much improved over the summer. And…it came back in November! I didn’t feel stressed at all! I put all my hopes that this nightmare would end in the spring again. No such luck. The only time it got better was when I used strong steroid creams or oral steroids like prednisone. I don’t know anymore. After I eliminated stress as the culprit I was very certain that it was the amount of sunshine. But this summer it is unchanged. I don’t know anymore and I am about ready to give up on the PNW even though I really like it here, well, mostly-some days the rain does get old. Anyways, if you have discovered the answer to this I would love to know!!!

  26. Interesting post and I’ve always thought the same thing. I was born in England and lived here until I was 2. At 2 – 8 I we moved to the Canary Islands (lots of sun and ocean). From the ages of 8-12, I moved back to England. During this time I was back in England I had Eczema all over my body (inc my face and eyes), sometimes it was so bad my mother couldn’t send my to school. At the age of 12 my family moved to Australia and it seems I left my severe Eczema back in England. Still I had a little Eczema on my eyelids and forearms, but nothing that you could really notice or certainly no where near as severe as what it was. I lived in Australia, Bali, Singapore and Hong Kong up until the age of 28. I’d say, by the time I was 13 my Eczema was still present but not anywhere near as bad. By the time I was 14/15, it was pretty much gone. I spent a lot of time in Ocean (surfed and swam everyday) and we always drank filtered water (either bottled in Asia or from our Fridge in Australia) but I mean I drank 3Ltrs a day and I never drink soft drinks (soda) or anything sweet. My diet included A LOT of fish, good steak, and I ate a little dairy and bread but nothing crazy. I did find if I had a big weekend on the beers and partying, come Monday it would be back but a few dabs of cream and I was fine by the next day and it was totally not visible. Now at the age of 31, I’ve moved back to London and strangely enough for my first 2-3 years of being here I really didn’t have any eczema. Now 4-5 years after I’ve arrived here it appears my old friend has returned. It’s kind of gone back to what I had when I was a kid. It’s all over my back, a little on my arms and face and its a nightmare. I have to take Anti histamines every day to stop the scratching, I shower with a special cream morning and night and then apply a heavy duty steroid cream after I dry off. Diet-wise, I drink a lot of tap water here (it’s to expensive to buy bottled and most old London flats don’t really have Filters). My diet is still similar, lots of fish but I’ve totally cut out dairy and reduced the bread to hardly once a week (does rye bread count?). What else can I think of… Oh, washing detergents, no I don’t think this is a cause either as I’ve kind of tried to stick to the same one for years (didn’t want any flair ups haha). Of course, I don’t get to spend any time in the ocean and sun. The only things I can think of is, Water I’m putting in my body, no salt water on my skin, lack of vitamin D (from the sun) and lastly and I don’t know if this is right (I’m sure some Hippy would say it is) the produce here is not anywhere near as fresh (yes I go to Wholefoods and buy organic). Oh and I missed one, I don’t drink Alcohol any more but if I do, my eczema comes back. My body is telling me two things. The water that is going inside my body isn’t good and I should be drinking bottled water with a high pH (I think over 8 is good or something). The 2/3, not being in the Ocean and Sun is not helping me. Obviously the alcohol isn’t good either but I’d say I probably have a pint every 6months or so now so I doubt this a real cause for it still being bad.

    My little theory that I’ve had for a while is, thinking back to what you have said, I think when we are born our bodies are already accustom (though out mothers wombs) to the local enzymes (may or may not be the correct terminology but you get what I mean) we find in the water and produce. As we get older, doesn’t matter the age and we travel, our bodies are getting foreign enzymes entering out bodies and replacing the old ones from our where we have always had through our mothers wombs. I’m not sure if that makes sense haha. Still, our bodies are having different bacterias entering our bodies and I’m sure these different bacterias replace the ones that we have already had that are aiding in the skin conditions or in other cases, pain that we may have.

    I don’t know, maybe their is nothing in my theory above but I’ve written down as much information as possible to describe my circumstances, diet and lifestyle and hopefully some mad scientists somewhere reads this and comes up with a solution to millions of peoples eczema. I really hope you do.

    Good luck with your little girl and email me if you have any questions.


  27. When my children were young and we went on vacation to another state, their eczema would clear up. So I asked the doctor about it and he said that it takes 3 years before your body reacts to allergens in a new place. At home I would have a lot of sinus issues and just feel blah, but when we went away, I would feel great. And now that my kids are grown and go visit their father in another state, they tell me they clear up when they are there, and all they eat over there is junk food. So maybe it’s just the environment and your daughter hasn’t been there long enough to have a reaction.

  28. Could she be eating more or different omega 3s while traveling? And, have you tried coconut oil internally or externally? I hope you find the solution for her!

    1. We do eat and use a lot of coconut oil back home (it’s harder to find when we travel). I’m not sure if she’s getting more omega3s, I’ll have to think about that. Thanks!

  29. Yes. This happened to a friend of mine. They removed all carpet. Washed drapes and got a good quality air filter in child room for sleeping. Problem solved.

  30. What is the altitude where you live? I have histamine issues (eczema is a histamine issue too) and they symptoms resolve when I leave Denver and go to Florida. Also vitamin D and mold issues.

    1. It’s not high, we’re near the coast. It’s quite wet where we live, though. We don’t know of any mold problems either in our current or previous house, but I do know that we all struggle with vitamin D levels because it’s so cloudy where we live. So that gives me some really interesting food for thought. We do give our kids fermented cod liver oil, partly for the vitamin D, but maybe her body has a higher need for it? Thanks for the comment!

    2. And I live in Florida and my symptoms resolve when I go to Colorado or out west. Or anywhere but here. Both asthma and eczema

  31. My mom has Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis. She lives in the lower Mainland closer to you. She kept having flare ups and never could get to being symptom free. When she vacationed in osoyoos her symptoms went away. She realized it was because she switched to bottled water/purified water when she was there. She switched to purified water system and has seen a huge reduction in her symptoms. So I vote it’s the water. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’m sorry for what your mom is going through! We did actually put in a whole house water filtration system last spring and unfortunately didn’t notice a difference, so it seems to be something else for her, but I do think it’s a trigger for some people.

  32. Have you had your water tested? My guess would be fluoride, chlorine or some other chemical in the water. Have you tried not bathing her for a week or two and see if that helps? Like the Carrie Underwood song, “Must be something in the water”!

    1. I definitely think water is a source for some people, but not in our instance, as we live in a community with really great water (not fluoridated) and we have a whole house filter.

  33. For about 6 months I’m fighting eczema. I’m 43 and I never had this before, ever! Three years ago we started the transition to real foods and this is the healthiest I’ve ever eaten. This is extremely frustrating because the people I’ve tried to coach and advice on their eating habits are almost making fun of me saying that eating so healthy is not showing such great results since I have the left side of my face scaling with eczema. This situation makes me mad to the core specially because I’ve always had a perfect beautiful skin during the years I ate bad foods. It does not matter where I go on the world, eczema is still there. I hope for help.

    1. I’m sorry for your struggle, Cristine! I can definitely see how frustrating that would be, especially when you’re making such great food changes in your life. I hope you stick to it, regardless of what other people say!

  34. I also live in Vancouver and have eczema. After many years I have learned that mine results in part from the chlorine found in our tap water (have you ever noticed the green ring around the tub if you haven’t washed it in a while – chlorine). You may want to consider a water purifier that connects to your shower head. I have found it helps immensely.

  35. There is Fluoride put in water in the USA, which isn’t done in Europe. Don’t know about other countries, but that could be a factor.

    1. It’s an interesting theory, and one that I think is possible. I wonder how much it really affects our daughter, as her life functions similarly in many senses (and it’s not vacation for us – we actually work and do homeschool while traveling, and sometimes the travel is actually stressful because it’s all budget/independent travel which is wonderful but not always comfortable or easy. I wish I could get inside her little 5 year old brain better to understand how she really perceives the difference between traveling and being home. 🙂

      1. How much empathize do YOU put on the eczema issue at home? Has her world always revolved around checking for eczema outbreaks and their causes? Maybe being away from home breaks from this normal routine and she is not stressed or worried about eczema. My mother has eczema, I have it and so do my grown children- in times of stress is when ours breaks out. I figured this out with my children when they were younger and it helped me also – remember this is an autoimmune disease and any disease or illness gets better when you are calmer and not in a stressful atmosphere.

    2. I traveled round Southeast Asia for 5 months and my eczema totally disappeared. I’ve since had a few people mention stress being a factor to me.. I ask them have they have ever been traveling for more than a holiday, the answer tends to normally be “no”.

      It was awesome, but I defo would not describe it as “stress-free”. Haha!

  36. My son had really bad eczema when we lived in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, where I’m from) and when we moved to France (he was 3 years old, now he’s 7), it completely disppeared. We now eat a lot of quality food (organic, probiotic, etc) but for the firt year we did not, so I don’t think this is the reason. I always thought it was the climate! You mentioned that you live in a high humidity area, right? Rio is the same and it’s also very hot. The hotter days were the worst for him (he suffered a lot during summer), so I really believe that the climate difference is the best clue!

    1. Right, it’s a lot of humidity, but not a lot of heat (it’s considered a temperate rain forest, so the weather is mild but quite rainy). But that’s interesting about the difference between Brazil and France!

  37. Love these discussions about eczema. All three of my children have dealt with it (my husband has it as well), but they get it from their own body fluids – mostly drool and sweat. We live in the Pacific NW and my son gets it the worst during the humid summers wherever he sweats, and my daughter gets it wherever she drools, and my 6 month old just got it for the first time up and down her arms after she spent the night cuddled up too close to me. They also get it more easily when not sleeping enough or getting sick – when immune systems are lowered, but none of the other common triggers that so many other kids have. We also have to actually bathe them more often when they eczema, because we have to keep washing the body fluids off and then they usually improve.

  38. I had the same thing happen to me: ugly eczema while at home, no eczema while in Europe or the Middle East. It turned out to be the chemicals in American tap water. I installed a shower filter from Water Wise, and I wear rubber gloves at the kitchen sink, and my American eczema has completely disappeared. For cleaning my hands, I use a spray made from distilled water and grapefruit seed extract. And if my hands get really dirty, I wash them in the shower.

    1. We actually have excellent local city water (some of the best/cleanest in Canada) and also have a household water filter (so it filters her bathing water, etc.). But for those without filtration or as clean of water as we have, I absolutely believe that it can affect the skin.

      1. This happened to me too! I think it’s because when you’re away on holiday, you generally leave all your stress back home. Also the constant moving around when on holiday is good exercise.

  39. My first thought was environmental and secondly contaminants in food (even organic and etc…)
    As you mentioned, it might be interesting to travel throughout the United States and spend time in the different climates and seasons. My husband is from the Northeast. When he was in Afghanistan, the nosebleeds he would get every year at the same time of year stopped. He gets colds more frequently since he has been back in the Northeast.

  40. I work for a pediatrician in the Denver, CO area. We see many cases of patients having eczema going on vacation (usually within the country) and the eczema disappearing while away but returning when they return to the area. Our doctors have always attributed it to the fact that it’s so dry here. (The Denver area is considered a high altitude desert.) I’ve always wondered about this too.

  41. Have you considered tension? I realize that travel would be more tense for some, but for others it could be relaxing. I have a long history of eczema, however, it didn’t start until my grandpa died and I started high school all in the same month. It got worse in college when I consumed too much caffeine during nights of exam prep. Later in life, I finally realized that the foods I ate had nothing to do with my breaking out! It was the times I didn’t get enough sleep, had too much caffeine, or was nervous about something that I would be doing. Seldom, since I gave up caffeine have I had a problem with eczema, unless, of course, I lie awake a few nights.

    1. I agree that tension or stress can affect it. I never had eczema as a child, but I have experienced it on my hands as an adult, and for me it seems to be a combination of lots of cleaning/being in water, and then stress/poor sleep. When I wear gloves and am taking good care of myself or not in a stressful season, it goes away.

  42. I see that some have mentioned chlorine, but I haven’t seen anyone mention fluoride (fluorosilicic acid). Most other countries do not fluoridate their water. Our town began adding fluoride just this past January and I have had many reports from people as well as physicians about mysterious itchy rashes and patches since that time. It has been pretty well documented that some people are very sensitive to fluoride both in the water and ubiquitously (in the US), in food and beverages. Just a thought.

    1. Yes, that’s a good thought. It doesn’t apply in our circumstance (neither our current community nor the one that we lived in for years prior to this fluoridate their water, as far as I can tell based on the research I’ve done). But I’m with you on concerns about it.

  43. Could it be the flouride in the water…though I honestly don’t know if you guys flouridate the water up there….just a thought…as I have run into someone who has been diagnosed allergic to it and after drinking water with flouride for a few months all kinds of things start happening to them that disappear when they stop……….

    1. I live in Oregon and have had some really bad eczema as of lately. My eczema clears up whenever I travel to Hawaii. I spend a lot of time in the ocean and I don’t where a shirt as often. When I return home to Oregon my eczema flares up on my lower right leg and back. We have well water but maybe it’s mold in the house?

  44. As i began reading this post, the first thing that came to mind was the ocean!!! I have some eczema on my knee and I have found whenever I have the opportunity to get in some salt water, it diminishes. My friend’s daughter also has the same results with swimming in the ocean. It vanishes! My husband’s colleague has severe eczema on his scalp and when he goes on vacation and swims in the ocean, it goes away! Perhaps this could be contributing to your daughter’s vanishing eczema? 🙂

  45. Interesting. My son’s eczema typically flares when we are away from home (without raw milk). But, with regard to your situation I would bet it has to do with seasonal/environmental allergens. When the pollen count is high my son cannot eat foods that he can eat the rest of the year without eczema flare ups. I assume he could also eat them in different places that have different plants. Humidity does make it worse for some too. We live in a very dry place, but a few humid days and some sweat definitely makes us itchy.

    1. Right, I hadn’t thought much about seasonal allergens like pollens. Where we live it’s relatively mild most of the year (we get winter, but not much snow or hard freezes), and so it stays quite green most of the time. It’s worth considering that she is reacting to some sort of plant!

    2. My daughter has shocking To Chema and is on immunosuppressants for it in Australia yet goes to California and it magically disappears and she glows.

  46. I may be Waaay off here, but what IF…..
    ….in at least SOME cases of auto-immune disease, what if there’s some underlying stress that the brain (or cell memory?) has incorrectly (but effectively) attached to a certain food, fabric, smell, soap, etc., that was present at the time.
    Not that the thing itself is so very toxic to the person, but that the thing reminds the body: “oh, yeah, I have a problem, see?”

    A slightly related example may help to illustrate: a friend of mine was stressed and pregnant and selling jewelry. Within a short time, the sight of jewelry made her nauseous. I’ve experienced the same thing in pregnancy with onions as well as a rash triggered by certain soaps–but only in pregnancy.
    NOT TO SAY that pregnancy is an autoimmune disease, but that when the body is stressed, it makes some odd associations: “I’m stressed AND this thing is here, so this thing is my enemy.”
    I have a brother and a sister who have struggled with horrible eczema (incidentally, my brother who has never had a day in his life without eczema, found that it DISAPPEARED almost the moment he arrived in Fiji for a 2-year mission), and a daughter who used to have it, so I’ve pondered this a lot as well. I’m pondering your theories, too–thank you for sharing them!

    So… what if a fungus, the tap water, a pesticide, etc, etc, etc, is not so much the CAUSE behind the eczema, but a trigger. Would that explain the travel thing?
    And what IF you could address those underlying causes (the first one I would look at would be dehydration [it’s the cheapest to address and a common one]; second, lack of sleep; however, I think some could go back to birth, to a surgery, an injury, an emotional scar, etc.) while forgiving the substance and making peace with it (yes, that sounds weird) and overcome the trigger memory?
    Just a thought.

    1. Well, now you’re bringing me back to the days of my university studies in psychology… 🙂 But I would agree that it does seem that certain stressors, memories, experiences can somehow create triggers. More interesting food for thought!

    2. You are exactly on point my friend. From every single persons comment to my knowledge of eczema and asthma (having issues with both from age 3+)… the FINAL result could only explain a build up of environmental toxins and some type of cell memory makes COMPLETE sense. I’ve tried literally EVERYTHING from diet to expensive creams. Yoga to chiropractor work… NOTHING gets arid of both like changing my environment. Maybe us people, we are met to travel and wander…. ???????

  47. Another thing that has me pondering this: I ALWAYS have more energy when I leave my house. ESPECIALLY during pregnancy. We’re talking total fatigue by the end of the day versus wanting to stay up and do all the housework even though we were on the go all day. I’m exploring the theory that because the cerebellum is more stimulated when I go out, everything works better. So exercise is a partial difference, but it’s the same whether I drive away and sit for hours OR walk somewhere and work or play hard for hours.
    It couldn’t all be psychological, surely, but maybe a deep physical or psychological scar could be the real issue. I don’t bring that up to get everyone digging up their past for something to blame; rather to bring up the possibility that your trigger-substance just might not be your enemy forever.
    Letting go of the tension in my relationship with my body and with food: looking for the GOOD things they ARE and CAN do, really opened doors to solutions for me and for my family… still haven’t figured everything out, though.
    Wish you all the best in your search and thanks again for this discussion!

  48. So intriguing! When I was in Turkey for several months last summer, and then in Austria and Germany, I discovered something similar. Normally I have a gluten intolerance that leaves me with cramps/headaches/fatigue here in the states. But while in Turkey, I experimented cautiously with some of the local breads, and found I could eat them without any problems. I then started eating bread almost without thinking about it, though still being careful not to consume large quantities of it at a time. In Austria and Germany, I pretty much bought the whole bakery every day and went crazy with breads and pastries, and was totally fine. I actually thought maybe I would be fine with some homemade stuff when I got home… but no.

    1. Hi. I went through exact same experience when travelling from the UK (where I started to react to everything I eat) back to Romania, where I fell back in love with all their gorgeous cakes and pastries. Came back to the UK, full of optimism, where I started to react to everything even worse than before. I feel totally hopeless.

    2. I’m from Germany, as soon as I moved to Southern California I’ve been struggling with hand eczema at 32!

  49. Could it be that the lifting of food restrictions while traveling and just relaxing and enjoying herself is relieving stress that is causing the eczema? I had a problem with a swollen gland for a while as a child, and went through all kinds of dietary restrictions and treatments that added to my already high stress levels and made it worse. When my Mom decided to let me be for a while, and some other stressors stopped, it resolved on it’s own.

    1. I think there’s some merit to that idea, but I will say that she isn’t particularly stressed by her food restrictions because we try to make it just really normal and give her lots of alternative things to eat. I’ve never noticed her to be stressed about it (whereas another one of our children is clearly bothered each time he goes on a more restrictive diet and in his case, I could definitely see stress playing into it). But as an adult, I have certainly noticed that to be true for me. I get eczema on my hands, my right hand in particular, during seasons of high stress and poor sleep.

  50. When we lived in Nebraska my daughter had eczema starting at 18 months. Very hard to treat and I could never get her skin 100% healed. Fast forward to age ten and we moved to south central Kansas. Within 2 weeks her skin was noticeably getting better. An area on the back of her thigh that she itched until it bled was healing for the first time in years. There was nothing we were doing differently. My theory is maybe a mold issue in our old house we weren’t aware of and now she wasn’t in that house? Or different pollen/allergen triggers in Kansas that weren’t as severe? We threw away all her skin creams and it never came back.

  51. Every time I leave the US my food sensitivites and all of the myriad symptoms that follow seem to disappear. I thought I was crazy at furst, but it’s happened so many times I can’t ignore it.

  52. Wow! We too eat very carefully at home and have even recently been grain free but the last two years we went to Mexico for 2 weeks in February. Both trips within days our daughters eczema disappeared completely regardless of a less than ideal diet and then returns within days of being home. Her eczema is generally a winter issue (we live in northeastern BC where it is cold and dry) so we assumed it was the sun, and moisture/humidity that was helping it out. But this last trip my husband was dealing with a fungul rash on his foot, that too disappeared while in Mexico, and returned when we got home. The warm, wet, environment and higher than usually sugar intake shouldn’t have helped that issue out at all but yet it still disappeared. So we were stumped. Your post has got me thinking on this further!

  53. Just in case you are unaware (though for how knowledgeable you are, I highly suspect you already may know this)…fluoride can cause eczema and many other issues with the body (does not prevent cavities, but in fact can cause fluorosis etc), so if one’s water is fluoridated it definitely won’t help things…

  54. I have eczema, and have not experienced this in relation to travel, so much as in relation to the fact that when we are on vacation I am not washing dishes, or using cleaning products that irritate my skin. I would venture to guess that your daughter has a non-food related allergy causing her eczema. I have found that the one thing that helps my skin clear up is L-cysteine. This can be found in high concentrations in unpasturized dairy whey. I mix it with orange juice and drink it when ever I have an outbreak. Good luck to you and your daughter!

  55. I am originally from Maine US and moved to Texas when I was 13. My eczema cleared up for a whole year when we moved, in fact my parents thought it was finially going away! Then when I was 17 I moved back to Maine and same thing it cleared up for the 6 months I was there. I have also experienced this just from changing houses. I always thought it was something in the old house that made it flare up but it always comes back. I’m 35 now and still struggle. I find it interesting it happens to your daughter too, I have never heard of anyone else going through the same thing! I find even vacation helps sometimes but I must be gone for a least a few weeks. I wonder if the body is trying to catch up to the new things it’s being exposed too so it doesn’t respond for a bit? I am allergic to some foods but have a lot of environmental allergies so that may be why I experience that too…very interesting discussion! Thank you

    1. My eczema and asthma disappear or start to clear up when I travel. Doesn’t matter where I go. Oregon, New York, Arizona .. city or country… good food or bad food. It must be a build up from your surrounding environmental toxins. And some of us must be sensitive and be met to travel around?!? Other thing is maybe mold but idk I do not smell anything?! And I’ve always had asthma or eczema no matter where I lived here in FL. We moved a lot but it’s when I’m outside of the general area my asthma disappears and eczema clears. I eat extremely clean. And take great care of myself. It has got to be either some type of cell memory or environmental toxins overload. Would be amazing if a scientist could study this.

  56. I think your speculation could very well be worth considering. In Europe especially there are more regulations against GMOs and toxins (100 Days of Real Food sometimes shows side-by-side comparisons of the same brand/container of food in N.A. and in Europe. It’s crazy the difference in ingredients! I think hidden toxins in our environment and food have huge impacts on our health. •• Go with you gut on this (no pun intended) … but I wonder what this will mean practically as you live in N.A. :/

  57. A few years back after spending two weeks in Germany and Austria I noticed my usual breakouts on my chin were entirely gone ,and my skin was overall clearer, brighter. I chalked it up to fresher air and water …. and of course it returned when I arrived back to the States…sigh. Interesting article — thanks for sharing!

  58. Hello,

    I am myself suffering from severe eczema and have noticed, during my travels to specific countries, that my rashes are reduced. I have noticed that the quality of water (for showers) plays a great role for my eczema, as well as humidity and the climate. Thus when I travel to countries with “good” water quality and “good” climate, my eczema is greatly benefited 🙂

  59. I have heard of this quite often as well and while I’ve never experienced it (having not traveled abroad since the onset of my food sensitivity / auto immune symptoms), it sure makes me wish I could and gives me a sense of hope that we can figure out the link and harness it for healing even here in North America! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not be a place of compromised standards and ignored ramifications!?! Change can happen!!

  60. As long as you’re drinking commercial milk, or even milk from your own cow that is treated by a vet with drugs, etc., or you’re eating store-bought bread, you’re being exposed to a whole slew of chemicals, many of which don’t have to be reported. Basically, anything that comes from the grocery with a label is suspect. Drink tap water? Same story. That’s why I have a reverse osmosis filter on my tap. Cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning supplies? Ditto. I found that my skin problems are worse in the winter but clear up with the spring skies. Also, I found that taking a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed helps with the itchy skin.

  61. Stephanie, this is really interesting to me. Neither my husband or I have issues with eczema, so when we spent time on our RTW trip, we didn’t notice any difference, but now that we have an 18 month old little girl with eczema, I’m really curious.

    Also (from reading the comments), I didn’t realize you lived in Prince George for a time! I’m soon gaining a sister in law from there 🙂

  62. Hi…i have an 18 months baby girl…she have super dry skin in legs and arms and it heal when we are not at home. A few weeks ago she take a bath 2 days in my parents house and her skin was healed on vacation for a week in the sea it happened too..we live on Mexico and the only reason that I have for this is the quality of water…

  63. Such a fascinating, frustrating topic, isn’t it? While I haven’t experienced it (my travels are pretty limited), I do have relatives with similar occurrences. One relative, on an extended stay in Canada, mentioned his scalp and skin had cleared up considerably. He did learn that Canada’s restrictions on food and food coloring especially are quite different. He said Oreos did not taste the same!

    Separately, a young child in my family had his eczema much reduced, but it flares when they return to visit family — they live in Texas currently, originally from Kansas.

    Fluoride, food additives, who knows? Two questions, out of curiosity: When you’re out of the country, do you usually have carpet? Secondly, does your daughter get more sunshine?

    I know sometimes carpets can be an easy hiding place for chemical sensitivities and mold. And the likelihood of carpet depends much on the region & climate. I’m also curious if the sun could play a part in it. That’s obvious for sunny climates, but even if you just walk and sightsee more when out of your home?

    1. You’re right. Carpets are not only full of a soup full of chemicals, but it holds dirt, grim, chemicals you brings in from outside. Carpeting for people with allergies aren’t good.

  64. whenever i go somewhere tropical my eczema dissappears. i notice it whenever we travel to the Philippines to see family. My friend, whose background is Sri Lankan, has a similar experience. Iy has led to a joke i make, that i’ve named my rash after a particular anti-immigration politician. Its the rash that says “Go back to where you came from!”

  65. My first thought was that perhaps the laundry detergent you use might have changed overseas, and she tolerates those brands better than what you use at home?

  66. I’ve never been overseas myself, but we had a foreign exchange student from Germany stay with our family for two-three weeks at atime. By the end of his stay his sin would be blotchy and appear bloated. He was in great physical shape himself and he was prepared great healthy balance meals. When we asked him about his blotchy skin, fearing he was ill, he said it’s just what happens when he’s in the states and believed it was related to his diet while he’s here.

  67. Hi there – This definitely has happened to me. The last three times I’ve left the house for a vacation, I’ve felt fine. The morning after the first night’s sleep back at my home, I feel bad again. I get this uncomfortable breathing issue in my mid to upper back along with some mild achy pain there. Sometimes it extends to my shoulders. Feels just annoying, not really painful, but does not feel right at all. Seems to worsen when I’m hungry – not sure if being hungry brings this on or if whatever the issue is causes me to be more hungry. I’ve had all sorts of medical tests and of course nothing comes back. Even the naturopaths don’t really know what to say. Both times I’ve been away, I’ve been eating foods I’m intolerant to and can’t usually eat at home, and I’ve been mostly fine. Many of my other small symptoms seem to go away on vacation as well. I’m waiting for mold tests to come back so we’ll see what they say. Other than that, my son had a hair analysis the other day and his antimony was way off the charts. Could we have an issue with this in the home maybe? Maybe it is effecting me in this weird way? He did have some other heavy metal issues like lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, barium, bismuth, but they weren’t as crazy as the antimony. I don’t believe it’s an issue with too much electo-magnetic radiation as the levels were probably similar here as with the three places we’ve vacationed. It’s possible it’s partially stress related, but I don’t think it’s the majority issue here.
    I had a lot of trouble when I visited my mother’s house in the states. I do know they probably have a lot of issues with mold and dust, but it’s not for sure.

    So interesting to hear your story! I did see my son’s eczema improve during our trip as well, but it got worse first since we were staying somewhere with dogs – which he is sensitive to.

  68. May it could be the GMO that is in our foods here in the USA and not found in the foods in other countries????
    How odd that you noticed that. I can relate to the frustration trying to help a child with eczema…been there done that. Hard Lotion bar (I make myself…Renee’s recipe from MadeOn Hard lotion bar) and good fats in his diet, help tremendously! Dealt with it almost 4 yours…then may one particular change (raw milk) we saw healing, in just a few weeks but last two winters…it comes back before winter is over…I think less sunshine and our cold long dry winters here in SE WI contribute to that.

  69. I used to have eczema and linked it to dairy. So I cut dairy out of my diet but I would cheat and if I did the eczema would return. The dairy also gave me sinus headaches and a general low grade headache. However when I travelled to Europe I would indulge in dairy because I was travelling or it was the handiest thing to eat and would have no reaction at all. Not a scratch or sniffle. I to was baffled. Am I so stressed when at home that dairy bothers me and when on vacation I am fine? I think I have found some of the explanation in the book The Devil in the Milk

  70. Hi,
    I haven’t read all the comments, so I don’t know what has already been said, but could it be environmental? My daughter is very allergic to alternaria. From what I understand from the allergist, alternaria is stuff on leaves. I live in the midwest, and there are leaves 3/4 of the year! For my daughter, in the winter months, when it is much dryer and colder, and things are covered with snow and frozen, her eczema gets better and actually clears. But as soon as winter fades into spring her eczema begins creeping back.
    So maybe it’s something environmental as regards to nature, that she’s allergic to, that other countries don’t have??

  71. My son’s skin is much better when we visit family in Northern Ireland than home in London. I first noticed when he was a baby and had bad eczema on his face. It still happens now (he’s 4) with the dry skin on his wrists. Even though we’re only here for a few days it improves really quickly. As I think someone else has mentioned above, I wonder if it’s the water – hard water in London and soft water here.

  72. Do you guys have air-con in your homes???
    My husband is from Canada and every time he goes back there for a visit his skin is dry and his asthma is worse. I put it down to the recycled air in his parents house and in most shops/restaurants. I guess because our seasons aren’t as extreme air-con isn’t as popular here in the uk. Just a thought!

  73. Our daughter Julia is 4 and can only eat chicken, stock made from the chicken and a few probiotics – kefir and biokult. Anything else and she is really bad. But we go to Hungary for a month in the Summer and her eczema clears. Don’t know if anyones mentioned it but my wife believes it to be vitamin D from the sunshine. We live in Northern Ireland so it’s generally cooler and quite damp/wet! Anybody else think this may be connected?

    1. Not sure because I am in the sun and I still have eczema and asthma. It’s only when I travel I am free of both. I think it’s toxin overload from our environment or some type of cell memory that causes “triggers”

  74. i read your article with interest, my 25 yr old son spent a year in Canada (we are from the uk) and his eczema disappeared, he didnt have a particularly healthy diet (student) and lived with other students in quite a grotty apartment. He was back home a month and his skin deteriorated rapidly, to the extent that he went onto immunosuppressants. His skin is a total mess, dry, scared and itchy and he only gets relief when in the bath. We are going to try kefir with raw goats milk as a last resort but other than that were at a loss…….

    1. Hi Jan. Just wondering if you found something that helped? I have a family member in the same situation where he travelled from the UK to the US and where his diet was much more relaxed and all symptoms vanished. Very frustrating!

  75. I believe it has something to do with water quality. I live in Kissimmee FL where the water quality is terrible. Every visitor I had made a comment about how bad the water feels (dries and ruins hair) and how bad the water tastes (it tastes awful!). I can only drink bottled water that I purchased at the store. All the time that I have spent here my eczema has been bad.

    However! I noticed something amazing when I went to visit my sister in Charleston South Carolina. When we made a stop at a hotel in Georgia, I woke up to find my eczema had healed almost overnight! As the days progressed throughout this vacation, I found my eczema clearing up! However, weeks after my return to Kissimmee, my eczema started to return. I have found that every time I go back to visit my sister, my eczema starts to go away.

    I did some research, and found that Kissimmee has some of the worst water quality in the country. The Toho water supplier has even sent us notices notifying us that they are over the legal limit of some contaminants regarding their water quality. (The culprit I am eyeballing is Trihalomethanes, or THM). However, Charleston has some of the best water quality in the country. Brunswick, Georgia is not on the list, but I am eager to go back to that hotel to see if staying there will clear up my current eczema breakout.

    I can’t prove that water quality is the cause of all eczema, however, water quality is something to think about if you are suffering from eczema. It’s too bad we have little choices if it is known the place that we live has poor water quality.

  76. I’ve had the same experience with my acne when I travel. I used to have really severe adult acne (not an autoimmune disease like eczema, but it’s still an inflammatory condition). The last couple times I went out of town, I still had severe acne that cleared up temporarily even though I wasn’t able to bring many of the products with me that were essential for keeping my skin somewhat presentable (that is unless I had been willing to pay extra to check a bag, which I wasn’t). Both times I expected my face to go berserk, but instead it cleared up within a couple days and stayed clear until I got back.
    In my case, the first time it happened, I was much more relaxed than at home (because my job at the time really stressed me out.) The second time it happened, I was pretty stressed out on the trip (but in hindsight, was still probably more relaxed than when I was home). Have you considered the possibility that maybe your daughter has some kind of continuous low grade to moderate stress in her normal home or school routine that maybe she isn’t even consciously aware of? Maybe the stress of a classmate or teacher she doesn’t get along with, but has learned to live with it to the point that she doesn’t think about it consciously. It took me until my mid thirties to realize that my severe acne was largely related to stress, because it turns out I was always stressed out to some degree. So I never saw what my skin was like when I wasn’t stressed out. Kids are better at hiding stress than people think. Or maybe there’s something in her routine (a difficult subject at school for example), and whatever it is, is nobody’s fault. And of course, there’s always the general stress of wanting to fit in with the other kids, and these are all things that aren’t really a factor when you’re on vacation. I find that when I go on a trip (something I want to do), even if there is trip related stress, I still feel lighter and freer than when I’m at home dealing with the stress of the mundane and things that I feel I have no choice but to deal with. I think that obligation/routine type stress affects the body differently than excitement/adventure type stress. That’s just my theory, based on how I feel in different situations.
    Or maybe she gets an endorphin rush or some kind of placebo effect just from the change in environment. I’m certainly not discounting the hypothesis of toxins in our North American environment. That’s probably the most plausible explanation, but since you can’t do anything about that, you might as well try exploring some others.
    Maybe, as an experiment, you could try to bring some “vacation” into your normal lives (if you don’t already do this kind of stuff) by seeking out local cultural festivals (I always find tons of that kind of stuff when I’m not too busy to remember to look). For example, in Arizona there’s an annual hoop dancing competition (google it if you haven’t seen hoop dancing before, it’s awesome) that lasts a couple days, there’s an annual Greek festival, you get the idea. I know it sounds silly, but I was thinking that maybe if you could somehow duplicate the mindset of being on vacation (even just every now and then), maybe that would help trigger whatever it is that kicks in when you’re on vacation.
    I also find that the more I pray and read the Bible and remember how much Jesus loves us, the less stress I have. God bless, and I know you’ll figure it out if you keep at it.

  77. I have battled with eczema and digestive issues my whole life. About 10 years ago I started eating gluten free and found a significant reduction in my symptoms. About 3 years into that diet we were relocated to Belgium. At first I tried to maintain my diet but it was hard so I cheated. Come to find out I had the same experience as your daughter. Eczema and GI issues totally gone! They moved us back to Texas a little over a year ago and while the digestive issue seem slightly better than before, my eczema is totally out of control. Upon moving back I did not re-adopt my gf diet. I am convinced it is food related. The funny thing is doctors will also say it is a climate issue … well I live in Houston so it doesn’t get much more humid than here (and warm for that matter). But when I lived in a much colder climate I was ok. My eczema is worse in Houston in the winter, but it is not any where near as cold as it was in Belgium. I wish I could figure this out … or move back to Europe!

  78. This is the case for me, even when traveling within the U.S. I think it has to do with leaving home-related stress and increasing environmental diversity. Wondered about agrichemicals after my trip to Europe, but haven’t figured out any specific policy differences.

  79. I began suffering from eczema during my first pregnancy. It was still a problem when my daughter was 2 and we travelled to Italy for 3 weeks. I never got desperate enough to alter my diet at home to control it, and I lived off of pastries, pasta, pizza, cappuccinos and wine while abroad (so relatively junky eating home and in Italy). My eczema COMPLETELY cleared up while there. I had a short reprieve upon returning home to Southern California, but it came back. I’ve travelled within the USA and never experienced such a drastic improvement. I found your post because im trying to figure out why too! I brought my own toiletries to Italy, and spent no more than 3 night in any one town. It makes me feel like we’re living in a toxic environment here at home!

  80. I lived in a west Africa country all my life and never had issues with allergies (i’m in my 30s). All through my growing years, I only knew of just ONE child that was allergic to food(milk) and we kids all thought it strange. I developed food allergies four years after I moved to North America. I also developed allergic rhinitis.

    I think it has to do with the water we drink; the chemical treatments and pipes they pass through. Also the foods are altered one way or another via pesticides, antibiotics, gmo, preservatives, etc. Even “organic” foods are not spared.

    Furthermore, everything is so sterile and we don’t want ‘germs’ so we use lots of disinfectants, sterilizers etc and the probiotics we take are not adequate to help our guts. There are more factors I’m exploring but this are just a few.

  81. Hi! I’ve experienced the same dilemma and found your blog through googling! Do you have any updates? Thanks!

  82. Same exact thing with my wife! We live in Chicago and everytime we go vacation overseas her psoriasis dissapears! Then we come home from vacation 2-3 weeks later psoriasis is back! Shes very careful on what she eats at home but she eats anything when we go vacation.
    I dont wanna move because thats the only medicine that works for her! I dont wanna move somewhere then psoriasis come back!

  83. Exactly the same thing happened to my fiance. We went travelling in South East Asia for 5 months recently. His eczema flared up about 3 months before we went. Head to toe, worse than it’s ever been in his life. Within 2 weeks of being in SE Asia the skin on his entire body cleared up and stayed eczema free, until 2 days after we returned home and now it’s as bad as ever. Which make my fiance believe it cannot be food for him as he ate anything and everything which he had excluded from his diet for years! Its just so frustrating not being able to pin down the root causes, whether it be food, allergens or atmosphere. He’s getting to the point where he’s so desperate, we are considering moving to Bali for 6 months of the year and renting property in another area when we come home to see if it’s the house or area we live in causing the issues. A water filter we have fitted to our shower has not helped at all.

  84. I live in Southern Coastal California. I live with psoriasis, and my stomach produces excessive gas when I eat certain grains (oats, whole wheat), vegetables (broccoli, onions, beans, etc.).

    However, when I travelled to Ecuador now for the third time I realized a very bizarre pattern: every time I visit Ecuador my psoriasis AND my stomach problems disappear. What is even more baffling, is that I don’t get the typical stomach problems white North American travelers tend to get while in South America. The opposite happens In fact: when I eat the local fresh vegetables, fruit, and drink the tap water my body improves!!

    This suggests to me that environmental bacteria/microbes may be central to this puzzle (since both skin and stomach problems are related to bacteria/microbes). Perhaps in North America our environment has too few bacteria/microbes?

    I don’t have an explanation for this, but I am happy to come across this blog to share in the brainstorm. I’m a chemist/scientist as a profession, so I am very interested to investigate this further.

    1. Hi scientist! Let’s brainstorm….

      I’ve tried every cream, lotion, steroid, herb, sun, dark, this, that… I’ve had asthma since about 4 y/o. I’ve had eczema on and off from about 7 onwards. I live in FL and have plenty of sun. My diet is superb and I take care of myself. I had stomach issues as well but I’m working on it and improving much. (Cause: Parasites, everyone has them, just an abundance will cause issues)

      When I travel outside of my general area.. even to the beach 15 miles away… my asthma and eczema clears up. I’ve been to New York, Vegas, AZ, OR, TN and Cali…. no matter where I go and what the water, food or air is like, my symptoms improve or disappear. I only usually have to use my asthma medication the first night. Then I am good for the rest of the trip! My eczema clears up dramatically in less than a week while away.

      Asthma comes back night or two after I’m back. Eczema gets itchy again…

      I also can eat whatever on vacation and skin still heals and asthma still dissipates….

      What does this mean?! Environmental toxin overload and our buckets are full and we need to travel. What is the underlying meaning? Perhaps some of us are met to travel and Explore around…. hmm …

      Such an interesting thread. Glad to hear there’s many of us alike!

  85. This!! I thought I was crazy – and so have all my doctors when I’ve told them. Whenever I go on vacation, my eczema clears up as if by itself and I look like I have new hands! Even a short 4-day trip from New York to California and my skin looked 10x better. I am miserable itchy mess whenever I’m in New York and nothing has worked at all, not even steroids – I went to Japan last year for 2 weeks and it cleared up, as if my magic. Doctors keep telling me to stay off gluten and dairy and poultry and preserved foods, etc. But whenever I’m on vacation, I eat absolute junk food and yet my hands have never looked better. I don’t understand it, and I wish I could find out why this is the case!

    So far, my eczema has healed in Southern California and in Japan. It has not healed in New York, Hong Kong, Florida, or Northern California. Who can tell what’s causing this mess?!

  86. I just arrived back to New York from Florida and I had the SAME experience. I had zero eczema in Florida. And as soon as I came back I was extremely itchy again. I wish I knew the answers

  87. This also happen to my daughter who have very bad eczema. I took her to Beijing for one month and her eczema totally clear off when we reach Beijing. I also ask the doctor and the answer from them is “I don’t know”. She is allergic to tree, grass, and pollen. I think it might be the environment, that she is not use to the USA. I did not try Europe or any other country other than Asia.

  88. Thank you for sharing. Ive been dealing with this for over 20 years. I travel often for work, and I recently noticed the exact same reaction. While away from home, my skin calmed down and actually started healing. Within 1 or 2 days of returning home (Montreal), my skin sores become inflammed and itchy again.

    Im at a loss for reasoning, except for 2 ideas: One is, while I’m away, I’m kept quite busy with work, therefore alolowing me less time to focus on skin issues. Second idea, is while I’m away, my sugar consumption is reduced quite a bit (at home, I tend to overindulge in sweets).

    My question is, has anyone else had similar deductions?

  89. I live in Vancouver as well and have eczema just on the tips of my fingers, primarily my left thumb, index finger and middle finger, which are used the most because I am left handed. I had it really bad as a little girl; it disappeared for like 20 years….came back with a vengeance last year and keeps flaring up. GET THIS. Just returned 2 days ago from a one week Mexico vacation where I KNEW the sun, humidity and most importantly, the ocean water would clear up my eczema. It healed and disappeared within 4-5 days. I am now home and my thumb, which was always the worst (dry, peeling, cracked, sometimes bleeding ) now has eczema again.

    We have a boat and this past summer we took it to Desolation Dound (basically of Cortez Island) and would always dip my eczema fingers into the CLEAN sea water while on the boat. We were away a week. My eczema totally disappeared. Came back to Vancouver and it returned within a week. WTF????!!!!

  90. Me again

    I cannot figure it out but I know when I visit Vancouver Island (just north of Qualicum Beach), I will take wet seaweed washed to shore, wrap my fingers it it for as long as I can while sitting on a log, and my eczema improves by 50% with just one treatment.

    The same isn’t true when I try the ocean water at Kits Beach. I believe it’s too polluted.

    So there you have it….. it’s an environmental pollutant or chemical that I am touching that flares the eczema and CLEAN sea water heals it rapidly. Would love to hear from you If you have any other thoughts or discoveries on this !!

  91. Hello all,

    I have ‘eczema’ on my palms, feet, elbows, knees,
    its started out of no where in 2016, I have to use a lotion ever single day to keep the dryness at bay.
    However, later in 2016 I traveled to Kuwait, and Jordan, by the 3rd day I was there, I had no symptoms what so ever! I couldn’t even show my family the eczema…
    I return to Ohio, eczema comes back.
    In 2017 I moved to Texas, eczema persisted.
    now, Dec. 2018, once again, 2 years later I traveled to Kuwait and Jordan, and my eczema has once again disappeared after the 3rd day. And this time I’m trying to eat everything I eat in the US. I have no idea whats going on. I’ve been keeping a log of every country / state I visit and my skin condition. and it only gets better when I leave the US… Ive traveled from Ohio to Texas, New York to California, Washington and Nevada, my dry skin / eczema only disappears when I leave the US.

  92. I had the same issue as well. Just this past week, I went to the Bahamas on a cruise. Ate everything and my eczema completely cleared up, even on my eyes. But as soon as I came back, my eczema on my eyes flared up again. It could very much be environmental-related.

  93. Super interesting thread! I’m 32 from Australia and have suffered from eczema my whole life. I’ve just come back from 2 weeks in Sri Lanka where I was almost eczema-free! It was bliss. Almost the minute I got home, I started tearing my skin apart again. I hardly even had time to ingest anything so thinking there could definitely could be something in the water theory…?! In Sri Lanka I drank bottled water everywhere.
    Like others, I feel like I’ve been to every doctor and tried every elimination diet under the sun. I’ve tried western and alternative medicine and have explored environmental factors.
    Thank you for your post, it’s given me some new hope in finding an answer. Good luck with your search 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah
      I am also from Australia and have had the exact same experience whilst travelling.
      I have just posted my experiences to the group if you’re interested in reading.
      My eczema condition first started 7 years ago in Perth and have moved to Melbourne 3 years ago but my condition has not changed. Only when I leave the country does my eczema completely disappear.
      I was wondering which state you live in Australia?
      I ask as I am considering trialling living further north where it is more humid in hope that will clear up my eczema. My company has offices in the main cities, so I might try out the Brisbane office.
      Perhaps you may have already tried something similar or already live in a more humid region?
      My trip to Indonesia really did wonders for my skin, so hopefully a humid climate will help me.

      Thanks in advance for any help.
      Hopefully we can all find a solution 🙂

  94. Hi there!
    I found this article because I typed in “why did my Eczema disappear when I went to Rio?”
    I live in Atlanta and seem to have at minimum, mild eczema all year round. Sometimes it get worse. In December 2019, I went to Rio with the family and on the second day realized my skin wasnt dry or feeling thin, I wasnt itching and I did not need to use any creams! I was eating anything I liked all day long. On arriving back to Atlanta I instantly realized my skin started to feel dry again and now 2 months later im back to square one.
    I believe the humidity and water made a huge difference. I felt the same living in Los Angeles as well. You are not alone.

  95. Very interesting. I found this post because I suffer from exactly the same problem. I’m from Scotland and when I’m there, my eczema is terrible. I live in Sweden however, and when I visit there it virtually disappears.
    I think you could be on to something with the wet and humid climate… I believe Scotland has a similarly wet climate to Vancouver, whereas Sweden is very dry. However, I’d expect the dry weather should make eczema worse? Did you ever travel to Scotland with your daughter and if so, how was it there?
    Two environmental factors I’ve considered are 1. the tap/shower water and 2. regulations as pertaining to what is and isn’t allowed in laundry detergent. Would love to hear back from you. I’ve literally been back in Scotland a few hours and it’s already gearing up!

  96. My story in TL;DR mode:

    – My hand gets so dry that it sometimes starts to bleed.
    – I don’t follow any diet, I just eat whatever I want. (while traveling and at home).
    – I wash my hands and use sanitizers a lot. (while traveling and at home).
    – I live in the Middle East. (6 months = hot and humid, the other 6 months = hot
    without humidity).
    – I do not use any kind of skin care products on my hands. (while traveling and at
    – Extreme hand dryness vanishes when traveling to any part of the world (North
    America, Europe, Asia…etc.) no matter what season of the year it is.
    – Traveling to other cities within my country doesn’t do the trick. :-S
    – I love traveling abroad, but it turned out to be a costly therapy and not
    sustainable. 🙂

  97. We also live in Vancouver and find the same thing – when we travel, our daughter’s eczema goes away within a couple of days! Although we tend to travel when it’s winter in Vancouver and get away to warm places, so I always thought that it was the warmer weather that clears up the eczema. It’s funny what a mystery the human body is.

  98. Hi! I am so glad to find this blog and see all this comments that makes me realized I am not really crazy. I live in Chicago and my 4 year old boy has been suffering with eczema for years and I tried every creams and diet like removing dairy, egg and food high in histamine and no luck. I did noticed that when went to vacation to Cancun his eczema disappeared like magic on the second day there. We have traveled to the Caribbean and South America and I did noticed an improvement but nothing like in Mexico Cancun. Also we traveled to other parts of the US including Florida in the summer but nothing really helps and I have been thinking what is it really causing his flare ups? I have haven him sea salt baths as well and vitamin D supplements and no luck here in the US

  99. This is interesting. I have suffered from seborrheic dermatitis, heat hives and digestive issues ever since i turned 16. I tried every diet available under the sun and nothing has helped.

    I am moving to Australia this week for higher studies (i am originally from India). I hope my condition improves.

    1. I’m so glad I found this post Stephanie! Know it’s a few years old, but I just want to share my son’s story. We are originally from Vancouver, but moved to Barbados in 2001. My son was born in Vancouver and had a little bit of eczema when he was about 6 months old. When we moved to Barbados he did not have any. Every time we visited family in Vancouver, he would instantly get itchy. We were never there long enough for it to develop into a full blown flare of eczema, but this last year he moved back to Vancouver to finish secondary school and had the worst eczema all over. No change in diet or cream seems to help. We tried a shower filter, no luck. As soon as he came home to Barbados , the itching stopped. When he had his first shower here, he said it was the first time in 9 months that he didn’t feel itchy. I do believe that it is entirely environmentally induced eczema. Perhaps a pollen that exists there that is in the dust or something in the water. I do know it will be hard to convince him to go back for any length of time as he is so very uncomfortable there. We were thinking to send him back there for post secondary school, but I am seriously considering letting him look for options here instead. Have you been able to solve your daughter’s issue with eczema in Vancouver?

  100. I just came back to Canada from a week’s vacation in Cuba. My eczema almost cleared up while I was away. I had been experimenting with eliminating eggs from my diet for a few weeks before leaving for Cuba and then I completely stopped drinking milk while there (but had a LOT of cheese). So not sure if diet has anything to do with it. Not sure if it’s swimming in the ocean. I used to think the sunscreen (which is so greasy and clogs up my pores) is what is actually helping the eczema. My husband just made a latte – which is I why I looked up this post…I’m wondering whether or not I should drink it lest it bring back my eczema lol

    1. My 17 year old daughter recently (just in the last 4 years) has suffered tremendously from eczema. She has always had issues here and there but it was not until we moved from Eastern WA to Western WA that it became a major issue. She deals with horrible break outs on her face (similar to acne) though after many DR/ND visits discovered that it is not. Every time we visit family on the east side of the state it clears up literally within 24 hours. Our conclusion has been the same that it is the environment we are living in. All of this to say, this is the first time we have found anything that supports our suspicions of the issue. I know this article is a bit old but I am curious if you have found any answers to your questions? Have you learned anything new since writing this? And, do you have any advice for us while we are still here. She graduates in June and we will be moving back to the east side of the state shortly after. Just looking for ways to cope until then! Thank you!!

  101. I’m born and raised in Vancouver. I’ve always had eczema. I moved to the next province over to Alberta which is dry and also has hard water. I had to get a water softener to help with my dry skin in Alberta. My eczema is not bad at all in the long winters in Alberta. My son was born in Vancouver and also had extreme eczema. He barely gets any flare ups here in dry weather. It’s been 6 years almost. I visited Vancouver twice this year. Each time within a day or so, my eczema flares up. I just came back from Vancouver and even a friend I’m Alberta asked what it was even though he saw me weeks before I left to Vancouver for visiting family. It’s frustrating. I haven’t changed my diet and I ate more healthy when I’m back in Vancouver.

  102. Hi Meg, hope you’re doing well.

    This is one of the only articles I could find about eczema and travel.

    I’ve had the very same experience, I live in Bolton, England. Over the last few years eczema has started all over my body (legs, back, chest, stomach, arms and sometimes face). It sucks big time!

    Me and my gf (now wife) went traveling for 5 months, we went to Bali – within the first 10 days my eczema disappeared completely with no steroid creams or any medication.

    My skin was perfect for 5 months in Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and Dubai.

    Within a week of being home (staying at my parents for a few weeks and then in my house a few miles away) my eczema returned in full force. Spent the last year and a half trying to work out what my trigger is… fingers crossed I find it soon.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Have you bad any luck the past month Adam. I’m also in the Uk and over the past 2yrs have had it come up fill force. Only time it disappears is abroad and it’s back pretty much instantly within 12hrs of returning home.
      Wondering what on earth to do if it is water?! Drinking, washing/showering and washing clothing etc in bottled water is just impossible as a fix…

  103. Really interested to read this as I have experienced the same thing! I live in New Zealand (which is known for allergies due to pollen/damp climate etc). My partner and I have travelled all around Europe, and in parts of Asia, and I also lived in Sweden for a year (so quite a variety of climates), and everytime I leave the country my constant eczema on my hands dissapears within about a week! And we eat and drink to our hearts content when travelling so it can’t be diet related. I also thought perhaps the water – but we have travelled to such a variety of countries all with different water. The only things I can think of is reduced stress/increased happiness, and perhaps regularly cleaned rooms and clean sheets as we are moving around accomodation alot when travelling – compared to at home which is probably dustier and not cleaned everyday/few days like hotel & bnb rooms. I also wonder whether hand sanitiser helps with the inflamation a bit as I do use that regularly when travelling, and not when at home. Very interesting, but frustrating when at home. The only answer must be constant holidays! Haha.

  104. Few eczema products actually work for me. I got Foderma and vaniclear lotion same day. Vaniclear does not moisturize at all for me. Foderma Eczema Serum, however, works wonders. I use it on the front of my neck, around my mouth, and my hands for eczema. It works as well as a steroid cream but with no drugs. I am so glad I found this

  105. Eczema is related to Asthma, Sinus and Hay Fever. You can either get one or two or all of the symptoms. It runs in the family. All my family members have it. There are few factors that can trigger these symptoms such as temperature or environmental change, the food & water that we consumed, stress, low immune system due to lack of sleep or poor diet, allergens such as dusts & molds and the lists goes on. It it inherited and cannot be cured. We just have to find out what triggers it. My sister has eczema on her whole body from when she was young until now. It can get worse until her skin breaks and bleed due to the dryness and itch or it gets a little bit better but it just cannot disappear from her completely. My dad and elders daughter have eczema on their hands that never disappear. Because of that, she lost her thumbprint and cannot be recovered. She has to be careful when touching detergents. The symptoms may reduced but not fully disappear. My second daughter has eczema on her lips, my son and my youngest daughter have eczema all over their body. At certain times it can be very itchy and painful due to the scratching. We have to be careful of what we consume and touch.

  106. I go to Italy for 4-8 weeks in May/June and again Sept/Oct. My eczema or atopic dermatitis heals up when I am away. I have had it since I was a child and have tried everything over the years. I read these replies and now wonder about water and pesticides on our food. Please keep writing your replies as it may help someone. It is a strange problem and moves all around and over my body. Wish I had some answers!

  107. I have had my own experience with Eczema, only after vaccines with the military did my immune system start attacking everything to include my skin. At first I had dry cracking skin on the web between my thumb and fingers, then later a rash behind my knees that was on and on for years, it went from there to my eyelids, now it sits constantly on the top of my hand and one of my fingers on the other hand, this is 20 years later after being vaccinated. Eczema is now acknowledged by medical professionals as an immune disease, vaccines stimulate the immune system response, 33 different vaccines completely confuse the immune system leaving people with life long issues like this, if it helps anyone else I have experienced issues with Candida/yeast that always return, I believe this issue has completely altered my life, you can see the correlation in my social security statement, as soon as I started having health issues I stopped earning money, it made me sick and have to call off work, i was fired, when I was fired nobody would hire me, I have never been arrested nor do I have any sort of record, I have fought for the last 2 decades to survive without relying on any assistance, now that I am a father, my newborn baby is experiencing the same thing, only her rash showed up right after her 7th vaccine, I will no longer be vaccinating her and can only pray something happens in the industry to stop this horrible trend.

  108. The issue is quite simple. In NATO countries the amount of geoengineering and spraying of nano-particles is extreme. When one is in countries where the levels of these chemicals (barium, strontium, aluminum and many others) are either much lower or they are in atmospheres where the environment is constantly cleaned by regional weather patterns their symptoms will be greatly reduced. Think about it. Did you have these problems 30 years ago (prior to these programs beginning)? Most would say no. It’s right in front of us.

    1. I agree with this statement, it bothers me when people say it is a disease as it is really a sensitivity to our environments. If it was a disease it wouldn’t easily be prevented by visiting other places.
      Water is something to think about but as many people have said, filtering their water did not accomplish much.
      Food is another, perhaps gmos, but other islands & countries have relatively lax standards when it comes to food production. And people with psoriasis are often able to eat whatever junk food they please.
      The environment is practically the only other option but how could a change in humidity cause such a condition?
      To me the only reasonable explanation is the chemicals they are spraying in the air regionally, call me a kook or whatnot for believing that they are spraying aluminum but it really is the most logical explanation based on everyone’s testimonies & it infuriates me.
      Also, like you said this infliction has only become prevalent in recent years, you would have a tough time finding cases dating back pre-30 years ago.

  109. Hi,
    Hoping for an update!

    I recently moved to Ontario, Canada in December 2019 and within 3 weeks started to experience eczema. Since then it got increasingly worse to the point where my arms, legs, back etc are completely covered! Awful!

    I’m from the UK, lived 20 years in the South West of England where I was born and the last 10 years living in central London, UK!with no eczema, allergies or anything.

    I travelled back to the UK for 1 week and my skin had almost completely healed. Not a single flair up when there. Upon returning to Canada the eczema started to return.

    I suspect it is the water or contact with the water here.
    I bought a shower filter, but it hasn’t worked.
    Solution: Not showing. I went 5 days without showing during Covid-19 self isolation and my skin started to recover. On the 6th day I took a shower and by the evening the eczema came back!
    Another 4-5 days no shower and starting to see it clear up.

    I’m not sure what to do next. Other than trying to filter & boiling water to wash in and see if it is ‘just’ the water. Assuming filtering & boiling it might kill off any bacteria or remove contamination?

    Anybody else tried avoiding water skin contact for prolonged periods of time?

    1. My son only showered once a week when he was living in Vancouver and that helped to keep the eczema from getting too bad. We tried a shower filter too and it did nothing.
      As soon as he came home to Barbados, the eczema cleared right up.

  110. Came across it and found it really interesting. I never suffered from eczema or if I did never caused any problems for me to notice. Until I moved back to Vancouver, Canada last year. Since then I get really bad eczema that so hard to fight back. Before moving back to Vancouver I was living aboard and was easily able to eat anything with diary and had the most gorgeous skin. Since being back it’s a daily struggle with my skin and hair.

    I do believe it has to do with the dampness and food.

  111. Hi everyone,
    This is the only information I could find about eczema clearing up whilst travelling abroad, so I thought I share my experience too.
    I am 37 from Australia and developed eczema 7 years ago. I have flare ups over most parts of my body especially after exercise.
    Grew up on the west coast and have moved to the east coast 3 years ago but that hasn’t helped my eczema.
    My eczema completely clears up when travelling. I also have very active holidays and have absolutely no issue with my skin.
    Countries I’ve been to over the last 7 years with the activities I get up to include;
    Indonesia (surfing), Nepal (hiking), Japan (snowboarding), New Zealand (kayaking/hiking) all over USA (hiking & snowboarding).
    I thought it’s worth mentioning the activities as these would all cause me grief with my skin here in Australia. Also interesting that the climates/seasons are all varied.

    Unfortunately I have no answers but thought I’d place a post in case somebody comes up with a solution.
    I am considering testing out the climate further north for a month or so where it is more humid and see if that helps clear up my skin.

    Thanks everyone for sharing

  112. I know this is an old post, but this is fascinating. I’ve developed horrible eczema since being pregnant with my first child over 5 years old. It has continued to get significantly worse, despite doing food elimination diets, eating super clean, drinking filtered water, etc. I have found that every time I go to the beach (doesn’t matter what beach), my eczema goes away. I eat way worse at the beach yet my skin clears up. As soon as I get home, it comes back. I always thought it was something with the ocean air, but it could be something else?

  113. Wow! Ive dealt with eczema for most my life. For context I am 32 and half Thai half white. I traveled to Southeast Asia a few years back and my eczema completely vanished, I wracked my brain trying to figure out what happened. I’ve also lived in many parts of the United States but no location here changed my eczema. Florida, North Carolina, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

    Its comforting to see so many others that share a similar story, I thought I was alone in this seeing no information on this until just now.

    Its my thought that skin microbiome is too busy fighting something here in the states and something unique to the states is the amount of antibiotics and resistant microbes everywhere. That perhaps its a different type of bacteria in other parts of the world that our skin is happy with. Maybe its our heritage that built immunizes to certain regional bacteria that our bodies cant handle elsewhere? I dont know, just a thought.

  114. I have suffered severe eczema all my life (I am 27). When I was 14, my family moved to a different town, and my eczema completely disappeared, for years! No rashes, no redness, no itching. My parents assumed either I had been allergic to some plant where we used to live (my mom has a ton of plant allergies) or that it was some childhood ailment that I would not have to deal with in adulthood. Years later, I had a few minor flare ups in college, but nothing major, and they went away on their own within a few days to a week. However, last year my eczema came back just as bad as it was a child, red, scaly, cracked, bleeding, painful rashes that heal and come back constantly. My mom thinks stress is the answer, although I don’t feel stressed, but I can’t think of anything I’m doing differently.

  115. I came back to the bayarea from a 2 week trip down to socal. My eczema was recovering pretty well while I was down there and I couldn’t help but notice that it regressed the next day after I returned. I am also suspecting my water…

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