How does sunburn occur?

Sunburn is caused by too much exposure to the sun without adequate protection against UVA and UVB radiation. The UV light triggers skin damage that not only causes temporary sunburn but also damages the deeper layers of skin. Reddened, hot, painful skin, often accompanied by itchiness, are the symptoms of sunburn. Severe sunburn can lead to the formation of blisters.

The long-term consequences of sunburn or too much UV light include irreversible damage to the skin, such as premature ageing of the skin or skin cancer.


What happens when the skin is sunburnt?

Sunburn is not usually noticed immediately but only a few hours later because the damaged cells die off gradually. The most severe effects are seen 12–24 hours later.

After a couple of days, the skin begins to peel which is a sign that it is starting to regenerate. The skin must peel off because many cells in the epidermis have been destroyed by the sunburn. It can take a few days to a couple of weeks for the sunburn to fade completely.

This is why it is important at the very least to cool the skin after a sunburn, (e.g. with Linola). For mild sunburn, creams containing cortisone obtained from the pharmacy can help with the inflammation (e.g. Linola Acute 0.5%). For stronger skin reactions or if blisters have formed, it is essential to see a doctor.

To prevent this happening in the first place, protect your skin adequately with sunscreen. Our Guide has tips on how to enjoy the sun safely.