Definition of Sunburn

Sunburn: Sunburn is an inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from tanning beds and booths that emit UV radiation. Sunburn is manifested by reddened, painful skin that may develop blisters.

Sunburn early in life increases one's risk of developing skin cancers later in life such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Sunburn can also lead to premature wrinkling of the skin. Sunburn can be prevented by limitation of sun exposure and use of sunscreen products. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 are recommended for most people.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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