Many people have likely seen the news reports about how lifelong truckers can suffer from an affliction in which half of their face looks considerably older than the other. This so-called "truck driver face" is the result of spending years behind the wheel with one side of their face next to a window and the other in the cab.
But what some truckers might not realize is that while the condition may not look great, the conditions that lead to it also carry with them significant health risk. As such, it's important for drivers to nip the cause of truck driver face in the bud. Here are five ways to do so:
1) Use sunscreen every day
This is the simplest way to avoid sun damage to your skin, but all too often truckers ignore the risk, according to Suppose U Drive. Putting on a layer on sunscreen before you hit the road will help you avoid serious problems - from premature aging to skin cancer risk - years later. Experts recommend wearing sunscreen every day you're behind the wheel, even if it's overcast. The sun is powerful enough in summer to do damage through clouds.
2) Protect more of your head with clothing and accessories
Along similar lines to wearing sunscreen, adding extra layers of protection between the sun and your skin is smart, Suppose U Drive noted. That can include a hat and sunglasses at any time of year, plus a turtleneck or high-collared shirt in the winter. In addition, it's wise to wear long sleeves to protect your arm from such risk as well. Furthermore, having extra layers of clothes doesn't offer full UV protection, either, so you should be applying sunscreen on your arms and head regardless of what you're wearing.
3) Roll the windows up
While many truckers may like to roll with their windows down to beat the heat, experts say that's not a good idea because most auto glass has some built-in UV protection, according to JB Hunt. Instead, roll the windows up and drive with the air conditioner on (despite the impact on gas mileage) to stay cool and reduce risk. Moreover, because not all windows have this kind of feature, you might want to install additional products that add even more protection.
4) Don't drive in peak sun hours
Depending upon where in the country you are, the time of day when the sun is shining brightest and strongest can vary, but in general it's between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., JB Hunt noted. If you can avoid driving during these times (at least as much as is reasonable), it's probably a good idea for your long-term skin health to do so.
5) Look for the warning signs
If you've been a trucker for some time, many of the issues that lead to truck driver face might already be affecting you, according to P&S Transportation. If you have permanent tan lines somewhere on your body, thick skin, premature wrinkles on your face, sun spots or similar skin issues, it might be wise to contact a doctor as soon as possible.
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