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February 23, 1970

Cutaneous Effects of Sun Exposure

Author Affiliations

New York University School of Medicine

JAMA. 1970;211(8):1377. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170080065019

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To the Editor.—  Extensive skin changes in an 85-year-old man continuously exposed to sunshine during a 63-year career as a lifeguard bear testimony to the potentially harmful effects of ultraviolet light.Warnings against prolonged exposure to sunlight have been meager and little heeded, yet, in this era of increased leisure, vacationing in sunny climes and tanning of the skin have become status symbols.Herewith we report a case of the severe effects of prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Report of a Case.—  The patient is an 85-year-old, white, blond, blue-eyed man who had worked continuously and year round as a lifeguard from the age of 15 to retirement at 78 (63 years!). In this occupation he spent summers in New York and winters in Florida. In the course of the years, every part of his body except that covered by skimpy bathing trunks became heavily but unevenly pigmented and studded with