he image: The New England Journal of Medicine recently published what looks like a before-and-after photograph documenting the ravages of sun exposure — but the image is actually an undoctored photo of a 69-year-old truck driver. Bill Edward McElligott drove a milk delivery truck for 28 years, and the left side of his face — the side closest to the window — looks about 20 years older than his right side. What we're seeing, says Dr. Jennifer Gordon, the Northwestern University dermatologist who wrote the case study, are the "very stark" effects of unilateral dermatoheliosis, or photo-aging, from UVA rays streaming through the glass: "We are used to seeing photo damage, photo aging every day, [but] for it to be so one sided? We were taken aback."
The reaction: Taken aback? That's putting it mildly, says Julie Gerstein at The Frisky. "You'd think the picture of this 69-year-old man had somehow been digitally altered, but no." This is just what the sun does to you, slowly, every day — a "wild, true life example of why you should put some goddamn sunblock on already." Doctors have been telling us that for years, says Erica Ritz at The Blaze. But boy oh boy, this one "unbelievable" photo "demonstrates what countless other scientific studies have failed to convey." If the vague threat of skin cancer won't scare you, maybe looking decades past your age will do the trick. Take a look at this cautionary face:
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