Shortlisted entries 2013

The perfect amount of sun for your skin

The perfect amount of sun for your skinThe perfect amount of sun for your skin
Barbara Bo-Ju Shih

Are we staying in the sun too little or too much? While UV from the sun can cause harm to our skin, it is also needed for making vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bones; not enough vitamin D can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia (bone pain and tenderness) in adults. In order to find out what is the largest amount of safe sun for making vitamin D, our study looks at the effects of sun when people are exposed to UV using a modified sunbed (so we don’t rely on Manchester’s weather!). In order to make sure a safe amount of UV was used, we do a test on a number of small patches the skin to find out how much sun it takes for someone to get a sunburn. This is a photo of this test on 5 small patches of my skin.

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