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Tate MediSpa
100 Physicians Way 310
LebanonTN 37090
 (615) 444-1173
Tate MediSpa  |  100 Physicians Way LebanonTN37090  |  (615) 444-1173

The Anatomy of a Sunburn

The Anatomy of a Sunburn

The redness, pain, itching and swelling are all too familiar after your skin is exposed and unprotected to the damaging rays of the sun. Knowing exactly what is happening every time you get a sunburn can help you understand benefits of good skin care and protection. 

Understanding the Sun and Its Rays

When you get a sunburn, you are actually being burned by radiation. This is caused primarily by two of the three types of ultraviolet (UV) rays the sun emits: UVA, UVB and UVC. While the earth's atmosphere absorbs most of the sun's UVC rays, UVB and UVA rays can reach the ground. It is these rays that can give you sunburn with UVB rays penetrating the uppermost layer of skin -- the epidermis. UVA rays, however, are able to penetrate even deeper. 

Levels of Skin Damage

The term "sunburn" is a blanket one that doesn't make a distinction between the different levels of damage that unprotected exposure to the sun can wreak on your skin. You might be surprised to know that exposure to the sun's UVA and UVB rays interact with the skin in ways that disrupt the successful replication of DNA. This is because your DNA absorbs the photons -- light transmitting particles -- from the sun's rays and your skin is damaged by their excess energy. 

You might be surprised to know that exposure to the sun's UVA and UVB rays interact with the skin in ways that disrupt the successful replication of DNA.

Your Body's Protective Actions

Once your body detects the errors contained within your DNA, those cells start to self-destruct. Immune cells are attracted to the area by molecules with blood vessels from the skin leaking into nearby skin structures. The result of all this action on the part of your body is the hot sensation, redden skin and pain that you normally associate with a sunburn. 

The Job of Your Immune Cells

Some of the immune cells that arrive on the site start to clear away those skin cells that are self-destructing. Other cells that are already weakened are subjected to further damage by the chemicals that are released by your immune cells. When this happens, your body might experience something similar to an allergic reaction. This can result in your skin becoming itchy. 

Blistering Appears Within a Few Hours

Once several hours have passed, the top layer of your skin -- called the keratinocytes -- begins to peel off as blisters begin to form. As this dead layer comes away from your body, the space that remains fills with the fluids your skin released as your cells were destroyed. 

Getting a sunburn is not only painful, it can lead to premature aging of the skin and even more severe issues. Tate MediSpa offers an innovative combination of treatments to diminish aging's effects while maximizing your results. Contact his office today to learn more. 

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