Joel Schlessinger MD explains what happens to your skin when you get a sunburn
Prolonged sun exposure is hard on skin. Even one sunburn leaves painful, lasting damage. Additionally, a person’s risk for melanoma doubles after receiving five or more sunburns, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation. But what actually happens to your skin when it burns? In this blog, Joel Schlessinger MD shares what gives skin that painful red appearance.

Sunburn is the skin’s response to UV exposure, Joel Schlessinger MD explains.

It doesn’t take long for skin to burn. After just 10 minutes of intense sun exposure, the skin starts to defend itself against UV damage. A sunburn’s characteristic redness is the body’s inflammatory response to signal that there are skin cells that need to be repaired. The body also starts sending blood to the exposed area to assist in the healing process, making skin warm to the touch long after sun exposure.

Severe sunburn can lead to blisters and peeling skin. Blisters are the body’s way of protecting areas with tissue damage. Peeling skin is the body’s attempt at ridding itself of damaged cells that could become cancerous.

Under less intense sun exposure, skin responds by producing melanin to try to protect cells from DNA damage. This melanin gives skin the appearance of a tan. Although skin isn’t turning red, any change in skin color is a sign of damage.

Joel Schlessinger MD shares tips on how to care for sunburned skin.

Although it’s best to avoid a sunburn altogether with regular sunscreen application, there are things you can do to help the healing process.

If you feel your skin start to tingle or see signs of redness, get out of the sun and take Advil immediately. Advil acts as an anti-inflammatory that helps minimize the severity of a sunburn. It won’t completely prevent a burn, but it can stop skin from blistering before it starts. Then, soothe skin with a cool shower and apply LovelySkin Aloe Vera Soothing Skin Relief Gel to help calm and heal sunburned areas. You can relieve discomfort by applying FixMySkin Healing Body Balm with 1% Hydrocortisone to affected areas up to three times a day. This balm contains hydrocortisone to soothe irritation and hydrating shea butter and cocoa butter to prevent peeling and flaking skin. If you think you’ve had too much sun exposure, taking Heliocare Sun Protection Pills can also help minimize a burn.

Do you have a question about sunburns for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

Posted Thursday, June 18th, 2015 at 9:01 pm
Filed Under Category: Sun Damage, Sun Protection, Sunscreen Tips
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