SunburnSunburn: What Do I Need to Know?
Frequently Asked Questions
Sunburn is the skin damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation or other artificial sources viz; tanning bed and sunlamps. Sunburn varies from mild to severe. In severe cases, the skin appears red, warm to the touch, and sometimes exhibits painful blisters.
Health professionals categorized sunburn into the following types based on the sunburn’s severity and skin damage
- First-degree sunburn: It is the damage to the skin’s outer surface. It generally resolves on its own within a few days.
- Second-degree sunburn: It is the damage to the skin’s outer surface and the middle layer. It causes mild to moderate burns and might cause blisters. The skin requires several weeks to heel and might also need medication.
- Third-degree sunburn: It is severe and damages all skin layers, including fat layers. It is sporadic. Most third-degree burns are from fire or chemicals and not from direct sun.
First-degree sunburn symptoms
- Skin appears red or pink
- Skin flakes off after a few days
- The cause of sunburn is the sun’s ultraviolet radiations viz; the UVA and the UVB. The body’s immune response increases the blood flow to the afflicted areas causing skin inflammation and sunburn.
- The UVA and UVB radiations alter the DNA and cause premature skin aging and wrinkles. UVA and UVB rays are invisible but cause visible skin tanning and burns.
- UVA rays have greater wavelengths and are less potent than UVB rays. But, the UVA rays can enter deep into the skin and cause damage.
Repeated and intense sun exposure can increase the risk of certain skin conditions and lead to complications, like:
- Premature skin aging
- Photoaging symptoms
- Precancerous skin lesions
- Skin cancer
- Eye damage