Sunburn- What Is It Really Doing To Your Skin?

With the summer months (finally) arriving in the UK, it’s hard to resist getting outside and soaking up the sun while it lasts. Although it is healthy to get out and enjoy the sunshine, you also need to be mindful about sun exposure and what it is doing to your skin.

Last month was Melanoma Awareness Month, and we think it’s the perfect time to discuss what happens when your skin gets sunburned.

What is Sunburn?

Sunburn is when the skin or other tissues that make up the body are damaged by the suns radiation. Just like normal burns, sunburn is graded in severity by grades, which are dependent on several factors; including the length of time in the sun, the location on the earth relative to the sun or the amount of melanin in the skin.


The melanin, or pigment in your skin, effectively dissipates and absorbs UV Light, specifically UVB light which is emitted by the sun. This is why people who have darker skin tones (and therefore more melanin) are less likely to suffer from sunburn than someone who has less melanin in their skin, resulting in a lighter skin tone.

This doesn’t mean, however, that people with darker skin tones shouldn’t wear sun screen. Melanin doesn’t affect the absorption of UVA light, which is a main factor in skin cancer.

UV Light Types

UV light is made up of different types of radiation. UVA and UVB are the main wavelengths of radiation from the sun:


UVA is the long wavelength radiation. This ages skin by  damaging its elasticity and disrupts the cells of the skin which can cause skin cancers such as melanoma. The intensity of this radiation is constant through the day, but only when the sun is up.


UVB is the mid wavelength radiation. This produces a heating effect on the skin which leads to the burning of the skin. The intensity of the radiation varies during the day; getting more intense when the sun is closer to the earth. This radiation is one of the main factor in the development of skin cancer.

How Can I Prevent Sunburn?

So how can you prevent yourself from getting sunburn while enjoying the outdoors this summer?

–          Avoid exposing yourself to too much sun at the highest UVB intensity which is around 10 am until 2pm (11 am- 3pm during daylight savings).

–          Wear clothing that protects or covers your skin. Wear wide brimmed hats or long, thin shirts. Sunglasses are also an excellent way of protecting your eyes from the sun.

We hope that this post has alerted you to some of the dangers of sunburn. Not only does it look unsightly, but it is a serious issue that should be prevented at all cost. Here at Fiona Clossick, we are dedicated to helping you keep your skin healthy and well cared for.

We have a wide range of treatments to help you keep that skin glowing and healthy; from skin peel treatments to botox in Birmingham. Want to know more about our treatments? Feel free to get in touch with us by calling 07815904578 and we will be happy to arrange a cons

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