Your skin peels after sunburn because your body is trying to remove damaged skin cells as part of a healing process. Dermatologists would recommend that you do not attempt to pull off the dead skin cells as the skin underneath is even more sensitive to UV damage. It is best to let the skin peel naturally which could take a week or so for medium level sunburns.
Sunburn is a burn on the skin caused by UVB radiation. Your skin reacts to UV exposure or sunlight by producing more melanin in an attempt to darken the skin (tanning process). A sun tan or sunburn is a representation of damaged skin cells.
The extent of sunburn is likely to be dictated by a few different factors. Firstly, your skin type. The fairer your skin the more susceptible you will be to sunburn. Second, the UV index at the time when you were exposed. If the UV index is medium or above (above 3) then you are much more at risk of sun burn. Third, the length of time you were exposed to the sun. For example, if you have fair skin and the UV index is high (above 6) it may only take a matter of minutes before you experience sunburn.
Every sunburn increases your chances of skin cancer and melanoma, so it is very important to make sure that you do not sustain more sun damage to already sunburnt skin.
Mild sunburn is likely to have impacted your epidermis which is the most outer layer of your skin. Severe sunburn which is represented by more painful sunburn which blisters may have impacted a deeper dermis layer of your skin.
To relieve the pain of sunburn there are a number of measures that you can take. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. You can take pain relief pills like ibuprofen. Cold showers can be soothing. Also, after-sun creams which contain aloe vera can also help.
Solbari is the leading sun protection brand in Australia with customers in over 80 countries. Dermatologists recommend UPF 50+ sun protective clothing as the best way to protect yourself from sunburn, skin ageing, skin cancer and melanoma. Solbari’s sun protective range includes UPF50+ clothing, broad brim sun hats and SPF50+ suncare.
You can find out more about Solbari's certified UPF50+ sun protective range by clicking the blue links below:
The Solbari Team
This blog is for information purposes only, always consult a medical professional.
Australian rules football coach and former player Jarryd Roughead took the time to answer our questions about his experience with skin cancer.
Coming directly from the sun, UV radiation permeates 90% of cloud coverage, and can reflect off the surfaces of concrete, sand, and even snow. That means even the cloudiest and coldest of days cannot shield us from UV exposure.