Trucker's Tan

The sun's unique effect on truckers.

For Real Truckers, a day at the beach is usually only experienced in their sleeper, deep in a relaxing dream. Waves crash, seagulls cry, and thankfully, you won’t be waking up from a nasty sunburn. Unfortunately, their lack of tropical getaways doesn’t protect truckers from the dangerous exposure of the sun’s UV rays.

You may already be familiar with the term “trucker’s tan” from a photo circulating the web for the past Sun Damage decade. The image, published in a 2012 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a then 69-year-old trucker with sun damage to his face caused by nearly 30 years of sun exposure to the left side of his face. Suffering from a condition known as unilateral dermatohelious (or in English, “sun damage to one side of the face”), the man has been left with severe wrinkling on his left side only, caused by a gradual thickening of the skin due to prolonged UVA exposure.

Unfortunately for the trucker in the photo, the damage was done, and doctors were only able to prescribe him vitamin A creams and recommend sun protection and frequent skin cancer screenings. However, for those who have not already experienced critical skin damage due to sun exposure, there are preventive measures you can take:

Sunscreen: Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen to your face and other exposed areas of your body is the most effective measure for preventing skin damage. While some brands may require multiple applications throughout the day, the higher the SPF rating, the more affective the lotion.

Protective Garments:

Investing in a decent pair of sunglasses can prevent eye damage and opting for long sleeves can shield your arms from the sun’s rays.

Moisturizer:

Using a basic moisturizer after washing your face can help in restoring hydration and preventing dry skin caused by prolonged sun exposure.

* Photo obtained from "Unilateral Dermatoheliosis" Gordon & Brieva - New England Journal of Medicine - 2012