Sun Damage – Before and After on the Same Face?

Bob Root, Keys Chief Scientist and Founder

As a geek, I must admit a certain amount of frustration with many people espousing opinion when it comes to the skin. Choosing to blinder themselves from the obvious or ignoring simple realities to make a point.

Jay Chiat, the advertising guru that was responsible for much of the Apple Macintosh marketing, once told me that, “Controversy is the #1 tool of marketing.  With the spread of blogs, articles and chat rooms created by the internet, his words are more true that ever.  Couple that concept with the Chinese proverb, “one dog hears something and barks. Then 500 dogs bark because they heard the dog bark,” seems to be the new normal.

Case in point, almost every time Doc Mercola talks about the sun, he claims its benefits and no direct link to damage.  I must admit that he says it using controversial words that slide through the truth.  Well, at least my truth.

So, I am cruising through one of my engineering blogs and saw the article below.  You be the judge for yourself.  I know that I am going to upgrade the side window films to the new 3M SPF 1000 UV coating on all of my vehicles based on the article.

Bob

PS, some people found the image of this 69 year old man a bit hard to look at, so the article with his picture is below the fold.

So, as you read the short article below, the message is not about sunscreens.  It is clearly about using any technology that you can to prevent sun damage.  I travel a lot across North America driving from city to city.  I wear protective sun clothing and UV sunglasses.  My side curtain windows are UV tinted, but the front windshield is illegal to tint.  Luckily, my motor coach and my towed SUV have UV protection in the widshield.

This article is a great example about how ambient UV can damage the skin physically as well as internally.  This applies to homes with lots of glass and office windows as well.

from Gizmodo

Shocking Proof That the Sun Makes You Age Prematurely

69 year old trucker

This guy is 69 years old, but half of his face looks much, much older than that. He was a trucker and, for 28 years, his face received much more sunlight on the left side, resulting on premature aging.

We all knew that being exposed to the sun makes you age prematurely, but seeing the dramatic difference in a single face is just stunning.

His condition is called unilateral dermatoheliosis, from the Greek dermis and helios, skin and sun. It’s also called photoaging, and it results from chronic exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. In his case, it only affected the left side of his face because of his work. As he drove, he received much many hours of sunlight through the left window of his vehicle.

The case was discovered and studied by Jennifer R.S. Gordon and Joaquin C. Brieva, dermatologists at Northwestern University, and published in the New England Journal of Medicine:

A 69-year-old man presented with a 25-year history of gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin on the left side of his face. The physical examination showed hyperkeratosis with accentuated ridging, multiple open comedones, and areas of nodular elastosis. Histopathological analysis showed an accumulation of elastolytic material in the dermis and the formation of milia within the vellus hair follicles. Findings were consistent with the Favre–Racouchot syndrome of photodamaged skin, known as dermatoheliosis.

The patient reported that he had driven a delivery truck for 28 years. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmit through window glass, penetrating the epidermis and upper layers of dermis. Chronic UVA exposure can result in thickening of the epidermis and stratum corneum, as well as destruction of elastic fibers. This photoaging effect of UVA is contrasted with photocarcinogenesis.

Since UVB and UVA can cause DNA mutations leading to skin cancer, the doctors recommended their patient to use sun protection and topical retinoids, as well as periodic monitoring for the apparition of skin cancer.

As the summer starts, this is a perfect reminder of the negative effects of excessive suntanning. If the risk of skin cancer is not enough for you, perhaps knowing that the sun will accelerate your ageing by a decade or two will stop you from being careless. Remember, if you are going to be exposed to the sun in any way—even if you are not at the beach or a swimming pool—use protection.

From the New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM]

A 69-year-old man presented with a 25-year history of gradual, asymptomatic thickening and wrinkling of the skin on the left side of his face. The physical examination showed hyperkeratosis with accentuated ridging, multiple open comedones, and areas of nodular elastosis. Histopathological analysis showed an accumulation of elastolytic material in the dermis and the formation of milia within the vellus hair follicles. Findings were consistent with the Favre–Racouchot syndrome of photodamaged skin, known as dermatoheliosis. The patient reported that he had driven a delivery truck for 28 years. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays transmit through window glass, penetrating the epidermis and upper layers of dermis. Chronic UVA exposure can result in thickening of the epidermis and stratum corneum, as well as destruction of elastic fibers. This photoaging effect of UVA is contrasted with photocarcinogenesis. Although exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays is linked to a higher rate of photocarcinogenesis, UVA has also been shown to induce substantial DNA mutations and direct toxicity, leading to the formation of skin cancer. The use of sun protection and topical retinoids and periodic monitoring for skin cancer were recommended for the patient.

Jennifer R.S. Gordon, M.D.
Joaquin C. Brieva, M.D.
Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

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About Bob Root "Beaker" 179 Articles
Keys Founder & Chief Technologist. Author: Chemical-Free Skin Health® , Defining Moments