Suntans and Sunburns - Case Study

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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?

2. What general types of tissue have been afflicted?
Stratified Squamous Epithelium in the epidermis, Areolar Connective Tissue, and some Dense Irregular Connective Tissue in the dermis have been afflicted.

3. What type of burn has the student received? Explain.
2nd Degree Burn – Because of the blisters and severe pain.

4. What type of radiation has caused the burn?
Ultraviolet Radiation

5. List ALL the layers of the skin that have been damaged?
Epidermis (stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, stratum basale) and the upper region of the Dermis (papillary layer)

6. List ALL layers that have been killed?
No layers have been killed, just damaged.

7. What tissue repair process causes the blistering?
Tissue Regeneration

8. Why is this type of burn so painful?
The dermis has many nerve endings.

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

> 25% of the body is covered by 2nd degree burns or
> 10% of the body is covered by 3rd degree burns

9. What percentage of the total body surface has been burned? Show your calculations!
(36% X 30%) = 11%
(36% X 40%) = 14%
(18% X 40%) = 7%
11%+14%+7%= 32%
The total body surface that has been...
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