What Sunburn Actually Does to your Body

What Sunburn Actually Does to your Body

While the fashion world calls it tanning, the rest of the world believes when your skin is exposed in the sun, it’s called a sunburn.

And it is nowhere related to burning your skin with heat.

We might imagine that the sun’s heat is what is responsible for giving our skin sunburns. But that is not the case.

Sunburn occurs when our skin is exposed to the harmful rays of the sun; the ultraviolet radiation or UV rays.

There are three types of ultraviolet rays that the sun gives off – UVA, UVB, and UVC.

The good thing, however, is that the UVC rays don’t reach the surface of the earth.

But UVA and UVB do. And they don’t just reach the surface, they can be pretty damaging to our skin.

A tanned skin might look pretty in the pictures, but what is happening inside is way more dangerous.

Sings of Sunburn.

What Sunburn Actually Does to your Body

Sunburn is the clear sign that you’ve been spending way more time baring your skin out in the sun.

Sunburn affects different people differently. It all depends on how long you’ve been exposed to the sun, it’s intensity, and most importantly, the skin type.

Sunburns can be either very mild or really extreme. However, that doesn’t mean mild sunburns aren’t as dangerous.

When you have sunburns, the first sign you see is the changing color.

Your skin slowly turns red, and if it is severe, it might hurt and develop blisters.

Even more extreme sign you can get is nausea and weakness.

A few days later, you might see your skin peeling off as your body tries to get rid of the damaged cells.

What is actually happening inside the body?

While it might seem like it’s just the color of the skin that’s changing while you’re sunburnt, it’s not true.

The change in color, blisters, and peeling skin are the most common symptoms.

But sun-exposed skin is very vulnerable and has maximum risk in developing different types of skin cancer.

While you might think it stops there, but it actually doesn’t.

There is so much more happening inside our bodies as it is on the outside.

Since sunburn isn’t due to the heat but radiation, the UV rays are actually damaging your DNA.

The UVA and UVB rays reach the surface, it penetrates the skin that is unprotected.

While UVB rays affect the top layer, UVA reaches deeper.

And the particles that transmit photons from UVA rays end up interacting with the skin.

This leads to the damaging skin’s proteins, membranes, and DNA.

But the photons from the UVB rays are directly absorbed by the DNA. And the extra amount of energy that is produced causes the DNA to link up incorrectly.

This whole process leads to the inability to replicate the DNA correctly. For which the cells try to fix it by repairing themselves.

And with too many errors, the cells begin to self-destruct in order to remove the ones that can’t be safely replicated.

As the cells of the top layer of the skin detect DNA damage, they start producing molecules to attract immune cells.

This leads to a leak in the blood vessels into the spaces between cells and other skin structures.

This is what turns the skin red and painful during sunburns which are known as the Immune Invasion.

How to Prevent Sunburn.

As the skin begins to heal from the sunburn, the cells produce melanin that is responsible for the color of your hair and skin.

The melanin acts as a shield for further damage from the exposure.

But don’t be fooled as the tan on your skin won’t fully protect you.

The best thing you can do for overexposure is to give your skin some time to heal.

Stay away from the sun as much as possible, and drink plenty of water.

But if the pain is a little too much than normal, try visiting a doctor.

I can understand the urge to be out there on the broad daylight.

So after it heals, if you still feel like being out on the sun, try using as much sun protection as possible.

About the author


Talks to self, more than others. Watches "the Office" all night and quotes Michael Scott all day.
"I am Beyoncé, always."