The chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn
We have all been guilty of soaking up the sun’s rays.
And most of us can put our hand up to being sunburnt at some point.
But what exactly is sunburn? Well, the reason your skin gets burnt is due to UVB rays.
Why? Because they cook your cells from the inside out.
It alters the molecular structure of your once healthy cells, turning them intoextensiveg pink mutations, predisposing them to cancerous cells.
Sorry to be quite so explicit.
But in reality, this is sunburn, and just like the damaging effects of UVA, too much exposure is frightening.
Damaging UVB rays
UVB is the middle range of ultraviolet light; its wavelengths are 200-290nm long.
It is not dubbed the burning ray for nothing!
When you lay in the sun and watch your skin become inflamed, what is happening is that rogue molecules referred to as free radicals are being created.
The sun is stressful on the skin, causing it to produce more and more free radicals.
As UVB rays penetrate, they directly attack your DNA, injuring healthy cells and fibroblasts, which produce the skin’s collagen and elastin, our internal scaffolding.
Defence cells rush in to undo any harm; unfortunately, the result is never entirely new.
When elastin decreases, our skin starts to lose its flexibility and becomes loose and less resilient; when collagen breaks down, our skin cells become disorganised and abnormal.
This article does a great job of describing what happens to the ageing face.
Does after-sun lotion offer relief?
Have you ever stayed in the sun too long, and as soon as you got home, you poured on after-sun lotion to diffuse inflammation?
In reality, what is happening is that as long as your skin is red and hot, those excitable rogue molecules I was talking about earlier, the free radicals, are continuing with their cycle of destruction on the skin.
That’s right, the skin’s stress response system signals are still on red alert, so you’re AFTER SUN LOTION only offers TEMPORARY RELIEF and WON’T REVERSE DAMAGE done by those BURNING rays.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news; the skin burns.
UVB and dark patches on your skin
If that is not enough, when the body is exposed to ultraviolet light in the form of UVB rays, melanin pigment production is increased.
This article discusses melanin and how it acts like our skin’s tiny umbrella, your inbuilt UV filter.
But when the UVB rays attack the melanocyte cells, this makes them unable to spread pigment evenly, which is why sunburnt skin is often characterised by dark uneven patches, known as hyperpigmentation.
Follow the link to learn more about ultraviolet light and why UVB rays only burn sometimes, and UVA rays age the skin.