Shocking image shows how 28 years of sunlight wrecked truck driver’s face

PHOTO: New England Journal of Medicine
PHOTO: New England Journal of Medicine

The image of an elderly man is being used as the perfect example of how UV rays can damage your skin.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 69-year-old truck driver’s photo shows how one side of his face has aged much more than the other, due to prolonged exposure to the sun.

Chronic exposure

According to the Sun, upon examination the left side of the driver’s face was found to have signs “consistent with the Favre-Racouchot syndrome of photodamaged skin, known as dermatoheliosis”.

For 28 years the trucker’s had his left side exposed to UVA rays through the window – whereas his right side was covered and left relatively unharmed.

Metro UK reports that UVA rays can penetrate glass windows and clouds, which means that chronic exposure can destroy the skin’s elastic fibres – which explains the trucker’s deep wrinkles.

This is because the skin on his left side became thicker with exposure to the sun.

The rays of the sun can also cause skin cancer by breaking down DNA and directing toxicity.

According the Sun, the unnamed truck driver has been advised to start using topical retinoids (chemical compounds related to Vitamin A) and sunscreen, and have regular skin cancer check-ups.

Closer to the ozone layer

Dr Sweta Rai of the British Association of Dermatologists told the Sun that pilots are at higher risk of skin cancer and sun-induced damage because they sit in bright light.

“The windows they sit at when piloting the plane are huge, and as a result they wear sunscreen as standard. But passengers on flights should take heed and do the same,” Rai said.

“The window next to you on a plane may be small, but you’re closer to the ozone layer on a flight by thousands of metres.

“The sun’s rays are much more harmful at this level and we should all be wearing sun cream when flying.”

Sources: The Sun, Metro UK, The Mirror