Truckies and Sun Damage – Why Precautions are Needed
A few weeks ago news emerged of a 66-year-old truckie by the name of Bill McElligott who has quite an interesting health issue.
As evident from the photo below, Mr McElligott appears to be significantly aged on one side of the face over another. It has officially been named unilateral dermatoheliosis, but sun damage is the cause of this.
Over the past 28 years, Mr McElligott has been driving trucks through the United States, typically with his driver’s side window down due to a lack of air conditioning. Unfortunately, however, he has paid the price with severe UVA-related sun damage.
UVA rays attribute to photo-aging and penetrates deeper than UVB rays, the rays that are chiefly responsible for sunburn. This deeper penetration means that the impact of sun exposure can manifest later in life. Mr McElligott said he first noticed that changes to the left side of his face 15 years ago.
For everyone, sun safety is paramount to ensuring the wellbeing of our health and to avoid skin cancers. Given that Mr McElligott has been a truckie for the majority of his life, it’s a huge wake-up call for all involved in the trucking industry – especially here in Australia where the sun can be very intense.
While some have claimed these news story to be bogus or some conspiracy, it shows what can happen in the most extreme cases of excessive, unprotected exposure to the sun. Not only does one side of Mr McElligott’s face look 20 years older, but he has also increased his risks of sun cancer.
When you’re driving around, ensure you’re taking the proper precautions. Wear a sunscreen that protects you from UVA and UVB rays, have tinted windows if possible, wear long sleeves and don’t be afraid to take advantage of the air conditioning. Your health should always come before your job, so don’t risk your wellbeing.
If you’ve ever ended up suffering from the effects of sun-related skin damage – cancer or otherwise – please share your stories with us in the comments below.