Golf is a great way to exercise and stay social during the summer months, but an 18-hole game can average four to six hours -- a potential flare-up threat for many with rosacea. Before stepping up to the tee, consider several precautions you can take to keep your symptoms at bay.
Wear a Hat and Rest in Shade
Wearing a hat may be the most basic step for minimizing the effects of sun exposure on rosacea, a top flare-up trigger for 81 percent of patients. Also stay in the shade as much as possible, and take breaks to avoid overheating.
Consider Carting It
Minimizing sun exposure is the ultimate protection, and golf carts can offer complete shade as well as reduce your physical exertion. The breeze produced from carting around will also provide another easy cooling method.
Shout “Fore” for Sunscreen
Not enough can be said for sunscreen when it comes to rosacea, and this simple defense could be the difference between clear skin and a flare-up. Look for gentle formulations with an SPF of 30 or higher that also include non-chemical physical barriers like zinc oxide or micronized titanium oxide to reflect rather than absorb radiation. Work with your doctor or skin care professional to find what works best for you. Don’t forget to reapply as sunscreen can fade or wear off from sweat and activity.
Keep a Water Bottle Handy
While the link between heat-related triggers and symptoms of rosacea is not fully understood, many rosacea patients have cited increases in temperature as a trigger. One study even linked the greater warmth of the facial skin of rosacea patients to the bumps and pimples of subtype 2 rosacea. But what does water have to do with it?
As body temperature rises, our natural cooling mechanism of sweating kicks in, evaporating water off the body. Lack of proper hydration can lead to reduced sweat production, limiting the body’s ability to reduce its temperature. It has also been found that individuals with rosacea often produce greater sweating responses and higher blood flow when exposed to increased heat than those without the disorder. Combine this with the dehydration and it could be a double whammy for sufferers. Drinking cold water throughout the day will help keep you cool and hydrated.
Fan it Out
Few things feel better on a hot day than a blast of cool air or a breeze blowing in your face. Since you can’t command mother nature to cool you down, a portable battery operated fan or traditional hand-held fan can bring the air conditioner to you. In humid climates especially, sweat doesn’t evaporate off the body as easily, so increasing the airflow over the skin displaces the warmer air and increases the evaporation.
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Photo credit: JTS Communities