I am sure we are all familiar with the term "trucker tan" and if not, you will most likely find it in these hot summer months that are bearing down rapidly upon us. With the sun shining through our driver side window a great majority of the time and strict tinting laws being what they are in commercial vehicles, we have a high rate of exposure to our left arms here in the U.S. (right side in some foreign countries) that causes a noticeably different shade of skin than the rest of our bodies. This distinct color variation can help identify someone as a trucker from quite some distance. When it comes to sun exposure, prevention is the best medicine!
There are actually worse things out there being caused by UV damage than a two-tone tan line. I uncovered an article on the CBS News website regarding a condition called unilateral dermatoheliosis. Check out the article and pictures at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/trucker-accumulates-skin-damage-on-left-side-of-his-face-after-28-years-on-the-road/. Due to exposure to the harmful effects of the sun for over 28 years as a trucker, the mans face had actually become damaged on only one side, the sun facing side where the sun’s rays would come through his driver-side window. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology stated in an article published in 2010 that out of a given sample of melanoma cases, nearly ¾ of the cases were on the left side of the body.
Each summer I caution all my fellow drivers out there to apply and reapply sunscreen, even if you are just sitting in a truck cab driving all day. I was reminded just how important prevention is when it comes to the sun this past weekend, when I was so anxious to jump in our pool for the first time this season after filling it, that I forgot to apply my own sunscreen. Low and behold I was greeting with a stinging surprise when I got in a hot shower to rinse off the chlorine post-swim! So my reminder this year to all of you out there comes from forgetting my own sun prevention advice that I will make sure to remember and take very seriously this summer!