Sun exposure stands at the top of the list for rosacea triggers, and if you suffer from rosacea, you may unknowingly be overlooking one of the biggest culprits of exposure in your day-to-day activities: driving! From your routine driving, work commute, weekend trips to see family or vacations that include a road trip, you may likely be exposing yourself to more triggers than you think. So before jumping behind the wheel, keep these tips in mind to avoid a potential flare-up.
Stress is the other leading rosacea trigger, and during “road rage” your heart rate goes up, breathing accelerates, sweat production increases and your blood vessels dilate. Avoid a flare-up due to the stress of driving by practicing calming techniques, listening to soothing music or commuting at times when traffic may be lighter. Focus on safety and remaining flare-up free.
Keep the Windows Up
Driving with the windows down can be fun, but the potential flare-up from the wind may not be worth the risk. Keep the windows up and run the fan on low instead.
Watch the Internal Temperature
High temperatures trigger symptoms in many patients. During the warmer months, keep cool by turning the air conditioner on and using a windshield protector to block the sun when parked. During the colder months, resist the urge to crank up the heater too high and opt for a hat and scarf in lieu of direct heat on your face.
Sunscreen, Then Seatbelt
A car's windshield primarily blocks only UVB rays, and side windows aren't required to offer any protection at all, letting in as much as 63 percent of the sun’s UVA radiation.1 Protect your skin by applying sunscreen before driving, paying closer attention to areas of the face that are more exposed, and using the sun visor as an additional shield, adjusting as needed. Also keep sunglasses in the car to protect the eye area from irritation, particularly if you suffer from ocular rosacea. Those with wrap-around frames offer extra protection.