SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sunburnt skin. Shoulder, neck and chest of a woman whose skin has suffered from over-exposure to the UV (ultraviolet) radiation in direct sunlight. This has occurred as no precautions (sunblock cream and clothing) were taken during working as a gardener. UV radiation destroys cells in the outer skin layer and damages the tiny blood vessels beneath. 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.
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