The coming of spring and summer brings budding flowers and greenery along with sunny days that are perfect for prepping the garden and sprucing up your landscape. It can also mean an increase in rosacea flare-ups, as sun exposure, heat and wind are leading triggers. Help keep from turning red while practicing your green thumb this season with these mindful outdoor tips:
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen
The importance of wearing sunscreen to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays is widely known, but for the 81 percent of rosacea patients affected by sun it can be doubly important. Look for formulations of SPF 30 or higher that protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and contain non-chemical physical barriers like zinc oxide or micronized titanium oxide. Apply 30 minutes before going outside so that it has time to absorb into the skin. Reapply it every two hours after swimming or sweating.
Consider Your Fashion Accessories
You may be protecting your hands while you garden with special gloves and supporting your knees with knee pads, but what about your face? If you can feel the heat of the sun on your face, you could be especially aggravating your condition. Wear a broad-brimmed hat big enough to cover any exposed areas, especially your cheeks and nose. If you also have ocular rosacea symptoms, such as redness, dryness or irritation, protect your eyes as well with a pair of wrap-around sunglasses.
Right on Time
The sun is usually at its highest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., which means more exposure to its rays. Ideally, try to plan your time outside for the morning or late afternoon when it’s cooler and the sun is less severe. If you are going to spend a long time on the lawnmower, consider erecting an umbrella to act as shade.
Keep it Calm and Cool
Wind or hot weather trigger flare-ups in many rosacea patients. Shield the face with a scarf, and stay cool in warmer weather by keeping a water mister nearby and a cold beverage or ice cubes to suck on. Apply a wet towel or an ice pack on the back of the neck, and periodic breaks in the cooler indoors may also help.