News: Don’t believe the sun causes premature aging? You will now.

You know when you go on a daylong road trip and realize, hours later, that one arm is tanned (or

aging

You know when you go on a daylong road trip and realize, hours later, that one arm is tanned (or burned) from resting on the windowpane, and the other is still as pale as when you left?

Now imagine the disparity between one arm and the other after a 28-year road trip.

I know, I know: No one goes on 28-year-long road-trips. But technically, this 69-year-old man did.

He was a truck driver for 28 years, which means he got a lot of sun on the left side of his face, while the right side remained safely in the shade.

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine examined his condition, which is called Unilateral Dermatoheliosis. According to the study’s authors, that means ‘gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin.’

How does it happen?

Chronic exposure to the sun’s UVA rays. According to the authors, ‘Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmit through window glass, penetrating the epidermis and upper layers of dermis.’

Essentially, spending a lot of time in the sun will age your skin prematurely (or half your skin, in this case).

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more shocking visual representation of the difference between sun-damaged skin and just regular-old-life-damaged skin than this one.

So if you’re a sun (or tanning bed) addict and the risk of skin cancer isn’t enough to deter you from chronic sun exposure, maybe this proof that you’ll age prematurely will.

What do you think? Will you cut down on sun exposure after seeing this image?

Related:
Don’t be fooled: Indoor tanning isn’t pretty
5 health habits that make you look older
Are you damaging your décolleté?

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