Ultra violet treatment trolley, Slough, England, 1950-1970
Ultraviolet rays are radiation wavelengths invisible to the human eye. Much of the sun’s energy output is in the form of these rays. We feel them in the form of heat. This ultraviolet treatment trolley was used for ‘focal ultraviolet therapy’. This was most likely for skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne or scrofula (skin tuberculosis). The intensity of the rays was controlled via dials on the control panel. These rays were dispensed via an appliance that looks like a hairdryer placed against the skin. Small amounts of ultraviolet light are therapeutic for skin disorders. However, overexposure can lead to ‘sunburn’. This can cause permanent cell damage and premature ageing of the skin.
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Glossary: ultraviolet lamp
Glossary: ultraviolet radiation
Invisible electromagnetic radiation beyond the visible spectrum. UV radiation is emitted by the Sun and is the main cause of sunburn.