Sunburns: Skin and Medical Attention

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Suntans and Sunburns
A Case Study in the Integumentary System
By WH Cliff and AW Wright

A Painful Winter Break

On the first day after arriving in Australia for Christmas vacation, a University of Niagara student plays out in the sun for six hours. Later that night he notices that the skin on his trunk, legs and arms becomes red, swollen and extremely painful. By morning all of the afflicted areas have developed numerous blisters. These areas cover about 30% of the trunk (front and back) and 40% of the arms and legs.

1. What organ has been damaged?
The skin has been damaged (Integumentary System)

2. What general types of tissue have been afflicted?
The Epidermis and upper layer of the Dermis tissue have been afflicted
(Stratified squamous epithelium, Areolar Connective tissue and Dense Irregular tissue)

3. What type of burn has the student received? Explain. The burn would be classified as a second degree burn due to the redness, swelling, pain and blisters associated.

4. What type of radiation has caused the burn?
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sunlight is the cause of the burn.

5. List ALL the layers of the skin that have been damaged?
Epidermis: Stratum Basale
Stratum Spinosum
Stratum Granulosum
Stratum Corneum
Dermis: upper layer (Papillary layer)

6. List ALL layers that have been killed?
All of the layers of the Epidermis were killed:
-Stratum Basale
-Stratum Spinosum
-Stratum Granulosum
-Stratum Corneum

7. What tissue repair process causes the blistering?
The inflammation process (part of the healing process) causes the blistering.

8. Why is this type of burn so painful?
A second degree burn is painful since the sensory receptors of the nerves were damaged.

A burn is considered critical and should receive prompt medical attention if:

> 25% of the body is covered by 2nd...
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