Truck Driver Premature Aging Photo: Proof of Sun Damage
Unilateral Dermatoheliosis: Sun Ages Half of Truck Driver's Face
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) features a 69-year-old truck driver, the left side of whose face has prematurely aged. This is the side of his face that faces the sun while he drives.
The trucker's face isn't just tanned: after 28 years, the sun has caused the entire texture of his face to change, giving it a thickened, scaly look. The condition is called Unilateral Dermatoheliosis, and is caused by UVA rays.
UVB rays get most of the blame for skin cancer caused by sun damage (photocarcinogenesis), but here we see evidence of the long-term damage caused by UVA rays, made more clear by the juxtaposition of the shaded half of the truck driver's face.
As you can see, the windscreen of a car offers no real protection against UVA radiation. Sunscreen does.
Although exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is linked to a higher rate of photocarcinogenesis, UVA has also been shown to induce substantial DNA mutations and direct toxicity, leading to the formation of skin cancer. The use of sun protection and topical retinoids and periodic monitoring for skin cancer were recommended for the patient.
As an aside, this gentleman looks like he could be a cousin of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. We're not making a joke here, an it's meant as a compliment-- seriously, they look similar.