DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sunburn on the skin of a 44-year-old man's shin. Sunburn results from over-exposure to the UV (ultraviolet) radiation in direct sunlight. UV radiation destroys cells in the outer skin layer and damages the tiny blood vessels beneath. Here, the skin is red and inflamed. This is a first degree burn which only affects the top skin layer, the epidermis. Sunburn is most common in fair- skinned people, whose skin lacks the protective pigment melanin. Repeated exposure prematurely ages the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer. Calamine lotion and painkillers help to soothe sunburnt skin. Severe cases may need medical attention.
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