A photo of a truck driver has gone viral after illustrating the incredible effect of long-term sun damage.
For 28 years, the 69-year-old had the left side of his face exposed to UVA rays transmitted through his window, while the other half was covered by shade.
As a result, the former looks thickened and severely wrinkled – in complete contrast with the right side which appears relatively unharmed.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, this is “consistent with Favre-Racouchot syndrome of photodamaged skin, known as dermatoheliosis.”
UVA rays can penetrate glass windows and through clouds and overtime, can lead to the destruction of the skin’s elastic fibres – which explains the aged appearance.
According to Skincancer.org, UVA’s are almost impossible to avoid, as they account for up to “95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface.”
And while it’s UVB’s that are commonly linked to higher rates of skin cancer, according to the publication “UVA has also been shown to induce substantial DNA mutations and direct toxicity, leading to the formation of skin cancer.”
Although the damage has already been done for the man in the photo, doctors have since recommended he use sunscreen and topical retinoids and have his skin monitored regularly for cancer.
But let his story experience serve as a timely reminder to use sunscreen no matter what the weather or how much time you spend outdoors.