You know how, after you’ve spent some time out in the sun, your skin sometimes feels like it’s just crawling off your body? That’s called peeling, and it’s what happens when your body tries to remove dead skin cells on the surface of your epidermis, in order to let new, healthy cells grow underneath. Sunburn peeling can be very uncomfortable and even painful (especially if you scratch at it), but here are a few things you can do to make it go away faster and more comfortably.
What is A Sunburn?
A sunburn is damage to your skin caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays. The UV rays in sunlight are a type of ionizing radiation, which can break apart molecules in your body. This damages the DNA in your skin cells, and can cause your skin to burn.
Sunburns can be painful and cause your skin to blister and peel. They can also lead to more serious health problems, such as skin cancer.
So why does your skin peel after a sunburn? The peeling is actually your body’s way of getting rid of the damaged outer layer of skin. Underneath the damaged layer, new skin cells are already forming.
As these new cells push up, the old, damaged ones are shed from the surface.
What Can Cause Peeling?
There are a few things that can cause your skin to peel after a sunburn. One is dehydration. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it can lose moisture, causing it to become dry and irritated. This can lead to peeling. Another possible cause is damage to the skin’s cell membranes. ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can damage these membranes, causing them to leak and leading to peeling. Finally, inflammation can also cause your skin to peel after a sunburn. When your skin is inflamed, blood vessels dilate and cause fluid to leak out of your cells. This can lead to shedding of the top layer of skin, which appears as peeling.
How Long Will My Peel Last?
Typically, peeling begins two to three days after sun exposure and can last for several days. It usually starts with the skin on your face, chest, and back — the areas most exposed to the sun. Peeling usually isn’t painful, but it can be itchy. And once your skin starts peeling, there’s not much you can do to speed up the process. In fact, trying to peel off your skin will only damage it further. So just sit back, relax, and let your skin do its thing.
Who Gets Burns And Peels More – Men Or Women?
Though both men and women can get sunburned, it is more common for women to experience skin peeling after a sunburn. There are a few theories as to why this is the case. One theory is that women have thinner skin than men, so their skin is more delicate and susceptible to damage from the sun. Another theory is that women tend to use more skincare products than men, which can also lead to skin peeling after a sunburn. Whatever the reason, if you’re a woman who often gets sunburned, you’re likely familiar with the feeling of your skin peeling off in sheets.
Avoiding Sunburn When Going Outside
1. If you’re going to be outside for more than a few minutes, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours, or more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
2. Seek shade whenever possible, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
3. Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses.
4. Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand because they reflect and intensify the harmful rays of the sun.
5. Don’t use tanning beds or sunlamps as a way to get a tan.
What Are Some Other Causes Of Burns And Peels?
Sunburn isn’t the only thing that can cause your skin to peel. Burns from fire, chemicals, and hot surfaces can also lead to peeling skin. Other causes of peeling skin include certain medical conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as certain medications. In most cases, peeling skin is nothing to worry about and will eventually go away on its own. However, if you experience severe pain, blistering, or swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention.
Home Remedies For Relief From Peeling
When your skin peels after a sunburn, it’s actually healing itself. The top layer of skin is damaged, so the body sheds it to make way for new, healthy skin cells. Peeling usually starts a few days after sun exposure and can last up to two weeks. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort. Take a cool bath or shower, apply a moisturizer or aloe vera gel, and avoid picking at the peeling skin. If your skin is painful or blistering, see a doctor.