Following sun exposure without sufficient protection, you might get a sunburn. Immediately, your skin becomes red and painful…and sometimes even itchy and covered in blisters.
Responsible for all this discomfort are UVB rays (UVA rays, on the other hand, being the ones that make your skin age prematurely)! These two types of sun rays may also cause skin cancer, and should be avoided by wearing proper clothing, applying sunscreen, and avoiding direct sunlight during the day’s hottest hours.
There are more UVB rays at high altitudes, such as in mountainous areas, and more UVA rays on the low-lying coasts. UVB rays attack skin cells, causing inflammation. The epidermis then heats and blood flow to the area increases, which causes the red appearance. It may range from light pink to dark red, depending on the sun’s intensity and the time spent exposed to the sun.
What to do if you get sunburnt
Obviously, in the first place: get out of the sun immediately! Then hydrate yourself both by drinking water and wetting the burn, first with a cold shower or wet cloth, then with a thick layer of relieving cream.
Now you’re free to go hang out on the beach and explain to all your friends exactly why their skin is red!