How Long Does Sunburn Last?

Do you have a sunburn that seems like it will never go away? If this is the case, you’re probably wondering how long does sunburn last?

In this article, I’ll share what factors contribute to how long a sunburn lasts and give some tips on how to return your skin to its pre-sunburn state as soon as possible.

How Long Does Sunburn Last?

Why Does The Skin Get Sunburnt?

The skin gets sunburnt when exposed to too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV radiation is a portion of the light spectrum that reaches Earth, and it can be damaging to the skin if not protected from.

The sunlight’s rays contain both UVA and UVB radiation that cause our skin to burn when overexposed; UVB rays are more intense than UVA rays, and are responsible for the majority of direct damage done to our skin in terms of burning.

When we get sunburnt, our bodies react by sending out inflammatory signals in an effort to protect itself from further injury.

Our skin tone decides how prone to sunburn we are, as darker skin is less likely to get sunburnt.

As a result, we experience redness, pain, swelling and tenderness at the burnt site as blood vessels dilate around it.

This inflammation then turns into flaky dry skin or worse still; blisters as extra collagen is produced which pushes against cells layers causing a physical separation between them.

Sunburns are particularly dangerous because they can lead to long-term skin damage such as wrinkles and mottled pigmentation due to permanent changes in DNA caused by too much exposure to UV radiation over time. Plus, increasing the risk of skin cancer.

To avoid getting sunburned, it’s important to wear protective clothing such as hats or special fabric designed with SPF50+, cover up with long sleeves whenever possible and use sunscreen daily even on rainy days or when out in the shade.

What Causes Sunburns?

Sunburns are caused primarily by overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

When skin is exposed to UV rays, they damage the DNA and protective melanin in our skin cells called melanocytes, leading to inflammation and redness.

Melanin is a dark pigment made by skin cells that helps protect them from UV radiation. Without sufficient melanin production, your risk of developing skin cancer increases greatly because you have less protection against the powerful rays of the sun.

Even with adequate melanin levels in our body, unprotected exposure to sunlight can lead to serious skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.

We need to take preventive measures against sunburns, such as wearing sunscreen or clothing that guarantees at least 50 SPF protection when we are out in the sun for extended periods of time.

Also, avoiding being outdoors during peak hours when UV radiation from the sun is strongest is advisable as well.

Sunburns usually last up to three days, but vary depending on how long your skin was exposed and how intense was the burning sensation.

How To Prevent Sunburn From Happening?

How To Prevent Sunburn From Happening?

Mild sunburn is the most common type of sunburn and can cause redness, pain, and sometimes blisters on your skin.

Severe sunburn can lead to even more painful symptoms like inflammation, swelling and blistering all over your body.

To prevent sunburn from happening, it is important to protect your skin from the sun. Wear sunscreen, preferably one with an SPF of 30 or higher, every day when you expect to be exposed to direct sunlight for longer than 15 minutes.

Reapply sunscreen as often as suggested by the manufacturer. Wear clothing that covers parts of your body where possible, such as a hat and sunglasses.

Avoid peak hours when UV rays are strongest: between 10am-4pm local time during Daylight Saving Time (11am-5pm standard). If possible, stay out of the sun altogether.

If you do need to be in it, make sure you take necessary steps to limit exposure duration and intensity, such as using a parasol or umbrella if available.

Using shade whenever possible; wearing lightweight clothes that cover up exposed areas such as arms/legs; taking regular breaks in shady areas.

Lastly, if you do get a sunburn, make sure you treat it immediately with suitable medicines or cooling products meant for treating burns on skin – these may help reduce discomfort and let your skin heal faster.

How Long Does Sunburn Last?

Sunburns can range in severity from mild to severe, and how long does a sunburn last depends on the level of exposure to the sun.

A mild sunburn may last for several days, but with proper care, it should go away. While a more moderate sunburn, pain lasts longer to heal and causes peeling skin.

Sunburns occur when too much ultraviolet radiation (UV) is absorbed by skin cells, causing damage and inflammation.

This damage manifests itself in the form of redness and pain, as well as blisters, which signify second-degree burns that may take longer to heal than first-degree burns.

The amount of time it takes for a sunburn to heal also depends upon the severity of the burn, as well as how often you are exposed to additional UV radiation while your burn is still healing.

Most cases of mild or moderate sunburn will take between 3 – 8 days to heal without further exposure to direct sunlight or artificial sources of UV radiation such as tanning beds.

Depending on how serious your burn was, this initial period of intense redness and discomfort should be followed by days or weeks until your affected area has returned to its normal coloration and texture.

Although, some minor discoloration can remain for several weeks after your burn has healed up completely.

Why Does Skin Peel After Sunburn?

Skin peeling after a sunburn is a normal part of the healing process. When you have been exposed to too much sun, your skin may become damaged and irritated.

Sunburn typically causes redness, pain, itching, swelling, and in some cases will cause the skin to peel itself away.

This is due to an increase in white blood cells, which helps remove the damaged skin and promote new cell growth. Severe sunburn may lead to blistering due to deeper layers of damaged skin cells needing more time to heal properly.

The healing process happens as our body tries to repair the damage done by UV radiation from being out in the sun for too long.

For this healing process to take place and for new healthy cells to form, it can take up to two weeks for mild cases of sunburn or even longer for severe cases known as sunburn with blistering.

During this time period of recovering from a sunburn, flaky dry skin or small patches are likely going to fall off as a result of peeling away dead/damaged tissue and promoting stronger new healthy cell production with minimal scarring afterward.

How Long Does Sunburn Peeling Last?

How Long Does Sunburn Peeling Last?

Sunburn peeling is a common effect of sun exposure and typically lasts three to five days after the initial sunburn pain.

While the peeling process can be uncomfortable at times, it is important to resist any urges to peel the skin. Picking the skin off will delay healing and may result in scarring or further irritation.

To speed up the healing process and reduce any long-term effects of sunburn, it is important to keep your skin hydrated.

Applying aloe vera or a moisturizer regularly can help soothe irritated skin, as well as promote faster recovery times for peeling.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps your body take care of itself more quickly. Additionally, avoid strenuous activity that could further irritate your skin while it is still healing from sunburn damage.

It can take anywhere from several hours to a few days for serious sunburns to heal completely, depending on individual circumstances.

But once you have stopped feeling discomfort and there are no longer signs of redness, this indicates that you have fully recovered from your burn.

Following proper post-suncare procedures will help ensure that your tender new skin doesn’t experience any additional unnecessary damage in the aftermath of a sunburn event.

Doing so will also help minimize overall time spent recovering from such an incident by promoting quick yet safe healing processes after potential overexposure to ultraviolet rays outside.

How Long Does Sunburn Redness Last?

Sunburns are a common occurrence, especially during the summer. How long does it take to heal this uncomfortable skin condition?

The length of time that a sunburn will last depends on the severity of the burn and how quickly you take action after sun exposure.

Redness of sunburn usually starts within 2–6 hours after exposure to UV rays and becomes most severe in 8–12 hours. In mild cases, the sunburn rash lasts for about three days before beginning to fade away.

However, if you suffer from severe sunburn, then it can take up to two weeks for your skin to return back to its normal state.

It is important to keep in mind that if you have developed blisters due to extreme sun exposure, it will take longer for them to heal before your skin returns back to normalcy.

Most people’s redness from the intense burning sensation will dissipate within 7-10 days post initial exposure, depending on how long they were out in the sun or if any preventative measures were taken beforehand, such as sunscreen or clothing coverage.

To avoid having extensive long lasting burns, though, individuals should be mindful of their risk of sunburn and find ways of minimizing their chances each time they go outside, such as hats or protective covering over exposed areas as well as adequate SPF levels when applicable.

How To Minimize Sunburn Redness

How To Minimize Sunburn Redness

One of the most common issues skin is exposed to when in contact with UV rays for too long or without proper protection is sunburn.

Sunburns can last anywhere from hours, days and even weeks depending on the severity of the sunburn.

The pain from a sunburn usually goes away after 2–3 days, but any redness may stay for up to a week and sometimes longer. In certain cases, slight discoloration could be permanent.

Sunburn blisters are also another form of severe sunburn that should be taken care of properly, so they don’t become infected.

There are some home remedies that can help reduce symptoms as a treatment for sunburn, like placing slices of cucumber over the burned parts, since cucumbers contain natural compounds known as sinigrin that have both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which will diminish irritation.

Although, severe sunburn may need more intensive treatment, and take a week to fully heal, and can even last for up to three weeks.

Also applying yogurt over burn lines as it helps speed up the healing process due to its probiotic content, as well as applying milk soaked in a cloth on burned skin since it has lactic acid which creates a protective barrier against inflammation risk related to burns.

Sunburn can also increase sensitivity towards other environmental agents such as sunlight; therefore one should avoid direct exposure until completely healed.

Tips To Heal Your Sunburn Symptoms

Six hours after sun exposure, you can expect to start experiencing symptoms of a sunburn.

The duration of a sunburn varies, but usually patients will experience redness and pain two to six hours after the initial exposure.

Treating a sunburn isn’t always easy, but following these tips can help you heal quicker.

First, keep your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and avoiding caffeine or alcohol if possible. Apply cool compresses over the area for 10 minutes at a time, several times per day.

Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen may reduce swelling and discomfort. To soothe itchy areas, apply lotions that contain aloe vera or soybeans; these are known to be naturally calming and healing agents for skin irritation caused by the sun.

Limit your exposure to direct sunlight while recovering from a sunburn; wear protective clothing when heading outdoors and reapply sunscreen every two hours thereafter to protect your skin from further damage.

Lastly, avoid activities that could cause excessive perspiration, which could lead to more itching or burning sensations on your skin – such as strenuous exercise or being in closed rooms with high temperatures or humidity levels present in them.

Your sunburn can last anywhere from three days to three weeks, depending on the severity of the sunburn. However, these tips will hopefully shorted the duration of sunburn discomfort.


When thinking about how long a sunburn lasts, it’s important to consider how severe the sunburn was, so you can get an idea of how long you can expect pain, discomfort and redness following a sunburn. It’s always best to think about the prevention of sunburn, to minimize skin damage and premature aging.

However, if you do suffer from sunburn, there are things you can do to slow down the healing process, to prevent peeling and further discomfort.

Sunburn will typically last between three days and three weeks, but how long sunburn lasts, will differ from person to person.

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Gemma Etc.
Gemma Etc.

Hi, my name is Gemma, and I’m the writer behind I’m a true beauty obsessive, and love writing about anything to do with beauty. In addition to Gemma Etc., I also own, and love sharing my thoughts and feelings about beauty and lifestyle products.

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