DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Infected burn on a 40-year-old woman's arm. This is one week after being burnt by a steam iron. The burn has penetrated the surface layer of the skin (the epidermis) and damaged the underlying layers. Burns reduce the skin's defence against airborne bacteria, and so infections on burn sites are a major concern. Burns are generally dressed with an antibacterial dressing or left to heal naturally in a sterile environment. Infected burns will also be treated by oral antibiotics.
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