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What REALLY happens when you sunburn?

Your first sunburn whether you had it in your childhood, or your teens or adulthood will mean your first skin cell DNA mutation and the formation of a sunburn cell. The first sunburn episode will fire up a complex chain of events that will result in controlled cell death or a mass suicide of your skin cells.

Why are they dying off like this?

Sunburn cells are simply dead keratinocytes where the DNA is beyond repair. This is in fact a protective mechanism whereby they give up their life to save you from getting skin cancer. If skin cells with damaged DNA are allowed to live, they will eventually transform into precancerous and cancerous cells. So, sunburn cells are the true martyrs of your skin.
The sunburn response is both inflammatory and immune mediated in nature. Redness is seen about 4 hours following a sunburn. This peaks at about 8-24 hours and often even lasts for up to 3 days. The skin is painful to the touch, red and swollen, in severe cases there is blistering and can actually result in second degree burns.
If one sunburn episode can cause cell death, how about over a lifetime? Cumulative exposure means that sunburn cells won’t be able to keep up with the rate & frequency of sun exposure. Soon deeper cells will become involved and as UVR damage progresses so will the risk of cell mutations and cancer.
Remember the more the UVR exposure the higher the risk for developing skin cancer. It’s directly proportional. Soon, other chronic signs of photodamage set in and the process of extrinsic aging will begin.
How can you self-assess and find out if you are more to skin cancer? If you always burn and never tan or if you burn easily and sometimes tan you have Type 1-2 Skin and hence have a 70% more chance of developing skin cancer than those with skin types 3-6 which are darker skin tones.

Remember, the MOST important skincare product in your vanity cabinet is your SUNSCREEN.

  • Ultra-Light SPF 30 Moisturizer by Ocean Rescue Spa
  • Physical Fusion UV Defence SPF 50 by Skinceuticals
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch by Neutrogena
  • La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Melt In Sunscreen Milk by La Roche Posay

Stay Safe Stay Informed,
Dr.Ansul Founder of Cuticonscious
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