A 45-year-old man died as a result of a rare disease known as photocontact dermatitis at the height of summer heat in Russia. The body of the man, named only as Yefim A., was found in his apartment. The man died from a cardiac arrest, which was triggered by his disease.
Yefim’s brother-in-law came to visit him, but the man would not open the door. The police found the man lying on his bed. Painkilling pills were found on the bedside cabinet . Forensic experts identified his cause of death as photocontact dermatitis. The man was allergic to sunlight, and the disease triggered acute coronary insufficiency.
“It was very hot on Saturday, when the man’s body was found. It was +36 Centigrade. Most likely, he went outside for a while and did not protect his skin against sunlight,” a police officer said.
Yefim A., a welder at the heating and electric power plant in the city of Ufa, was exposed to radiation many years ago. His skin was sensitive to sunlight before, but a dose of radiation made the unusual disease even more serious.
“When he was visiting his native village of Tuktarovo, he had to wrap himself up in clothes, as if it was winter time. He would wear a hat, put a kerchief around his face and leave the narrow opening for his eyes. This disease runs in his whole family: all men in his clan suffered from it,” the man’s brother-in-law said.
Photocontact dermatitis may develop under different circumstances. It may appear as a result of long-standing exposure to hot sunlight in combination with other irritants such as chlorine in a swimming pool, plant pollen, cosmetic cream, deodorant, or medications.
“The disease, which the man had, could disrupt the work of his entire immune system. It weakened his heart and then triggered coronary failure. Hot weather was an extremely stressful situation for him, especially for his liver, kidneys and heart,” a forensic expert said.