How is tan different from sunburn

Whether you want to tan or not, protecting your skin from the scorching sun is crucial. But how is a tan different from a sunburn? Find out here.

A suntan can put off your entire beauty regime, especially when you’re looking to attend a big event and look your best. Your skin has naturally healing properties, which means the tan will eventually fade off, but if you are in a hurry or have an important day coming, we understand the urgency.

What is Tan?

When your skin cells are exposed to UV rays from the sun, they kick into protection mode. The melanin from melanocytes is transferred to keratinocytes, which are the surface skin cells. In defense mode, the melanin pigment blocks UV radiation from further cell damage. The melanin is piled on top of the cell’s nucleus, like an umbrella, this process occurs in all skin cells exposed to sun exposure causing the skin to darken. Therefore, tanning is visible over the exposed part of the body. Tanning is the process by which the skin pigment (melanin) increases in the skin after exposure to the sun leading to a darkening effect. This is the natural defense process of our body to protect your skin from the sun like a shield.

However, people with lighter skin tones typically cannot create an adequate amount of melanin pigment. The melanin created isn’t as effective, and therefore the exposed areas get skin burn.

What is sunburn- Sunburn is the skin’s reaction to too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. You can see sunlight and feel heat (infrared radiation), but you can’t see or feel UV radiation. It can damage your skin even on cool, cloudy days.

A sunburn is a kind of inflammation with symptoms ranging from blistering, swelling, rash and peeling skin and caused by damage from UV rays, often occurring after a few hours of sun exposure. It is dangerous and causes severe damage to your skin, which may lead to premature aging and skin cancer.

While sunburn is dangerous, regular tanning also greatly increases your chance of both premature aging and cancer, additional to wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, it is always best to avoid midday sun, seek shades when possible, and wear protective clothing.

With inputs from Dr Imran Ahmad dermatologist and cosmetologist from Ambar Nursing Home & Skincare Center.

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