The startling effects of sun damage

Truck driver Bill McElligott, 69, has unilateral dermatoheliosis, according to The New England Journal of Medicine. Essentially, ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmitted through the window of his delivery truck have severely damaged the skin on the left side of his face during the 28 years he has spent driving on the job.

As a result, the left side of McElligott’s face looks roughly 20 years older than the right. The difference between the two sides of his face is so pronounced, even medical experts were shocked.

This kind of damage is typically caused by UVA rays, which are less intense than sunburn-causing UVB rays, but can be up to 50 times more potent. Such frequent and prolonged exposure to the sun can also cause DNA mutations that can lead to skin cancer.

This photo is a reminder of the importance of prevention and protection from excessive sun exposure, and the use of at least an SPF 50 sun block that contains UVA protection at all times is a must. Wearing protective clothing and hats are also important, as is the use of sunglasses to protect the eye and ocular area from photo-aging, especially during the peak sunlight hours.

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