A recently released photography of truck driver, Bill McElligott, by the New England Journal of Medicine depicts a striking realization of how prolonged sun exposure can damage the skin. Truck drivers have long-proven the fact that the side of your body that is next to the window in a vehicle will be more apt to develop skin cancer. In the photo released, the right side of McElligott’s face, the side not extensively exposed to the sun, is relatively undamaged. Alternately, the left side of his face, where he is most exposed to the sun’s rays, has visible signs of damage and aging. This man and his unique condition is the subject of extensive news coverage, bringing awareness of skin care and using sunscreen to the mainstream, just as the summer months begin.
At 66-years-old, McElligott’s skin on the right side of his face is typical of men his age. But with his profession of 3o years behind the wheel of a truck, the left side of his face was left to the elements where the unprotected skin resembles that of a man at least 20 years older. McElligott tells of driving the truck most days during the peak hours of sunlight, 8:00am-3:30pm.
The 66-year-old truck driver suffers from unilateral dermatoheliosis or photo-aging, which was caused by repeated, long-term exposure to UVA rays of the sun.
Dr. Jennifer Gordon a dermatology resident at UT Southwestern saw McElligott while on a rotation at Northwestern in Chicago and submitted his case study, which was featured in the April edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
image credit Jennifer R.S. Gordon, M.D
via New England Journal of Medicine