When Skin Damage Takes Sides


A 61-year-old man is sent to dermatology by his primary care provider for evaluation of several facial lesions. Although they have been present for years, the patient says they have never caused any symptoms.

The patient’s work history includes extensive outdoor activity, as well as more than 20 years of driving a truck. He is now retired and spends most of his days fishing.

He has a history of at least two unspecified skin cancers but denies receiving facial radiation treatment. He has been a smoker since age 12 and admits to heavy drinking.

When Skin Damage Takes Sides

The patient’s face is uneven in appearance, with deep wrinkles and multiple areas of discoloration. His skin is type III.

Multiple open and closed comedones are seen around the left malar and brow areas, where the underlying skin has a whitish look to it. The comedones are not inflamed, and no pustules are observed. Some of the comedones extend into the infra-orbital area on the left side of his face. Almost no such changes are seen on the right side.

There is no increase in hair in the affected areas and no skin changes observed on his hands or arms, other than moderately severe sun damage.

What is the diagnosis?

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