What is Sunburn?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,911
    Dermatologist Amy Ross explains what a sunburn is and how it damages your skin.

    Amy Ross: Hi, my name is Dr. Amy Ross and I am a Board Certified Dermatologist here to talk a little bit about what sunburn is? Sunburn is literally a burn to your skin and in case of sunburn -- this burn comes from the ultraviolet rays produced by the sun.

    The most common symptoms of the sunburn include redness to your skin. This redness is often times accompanied by pain and irritation. The redness usually starts about four hour after sun exposure and peaks in intensity approximately 24 hours after sun exposure then fades in intensity over there or so. Other symptoms of sunburn may include fever, chill, and nausea. More severe sunburn can be accompanied by superficial blistering, this is also painful and irritating. After about four to seven days following a sun exposure there is skin loss and this is also what we commonly know as peeling. The most common long term risk of sunburn is Skin Cancer and the most serious one of skin cancer is Melanoma and the person's risk of developing Melanoma doubles with five sunburns in their life time. Over 8000 deaths per years are caused by Melanoma. Other more common types of skin cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are also related to sun exposure. Other common side effects of sunburn in long term sun exposure include, what we know as age spots, wrinkles and overall photodamage, which leads to most commonly discoloration on the skin. The amount of sun exposure an individual need in order to get sun burn mostly depend on a person's skin type. A person with long hair and blue eye or red hair and freckles will be much more quickly sunburned than a person with dark skin and dark eye. It may take a only a few minutes for a person with fair complexion to get sunburn. In the next clip we will talk about how we can prevent sunburn.