How Long does Sunburn Last? 7 Effective Management Tips

If you’ve been wondering how long does sunburn last, what it is and how to treat it, look no further. Sunburn is harmful in a variety of ways. The danger extends much beyond any temporary discomfort, redness, or pain since even after the sunburn fades, irreversible damage remains.

Sunburn accelerates the aging process of the skin and is a key risk factor for basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, the most lethal type of skin cancer.

While sunburn is undesirable, the good news is that it is entirely preventable. In this article, we will investigate how long does sunburn last, its causes, and its treatments.

What is a Sunburn?

Sunburn is an inflammatory response to damage of the skin’s outermost layers caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color and protects it from the sun’s rays, is at the core of it all. Melanin works by darkening sun-exposed skin that is not protected. Genetics dictates the quantity of melanin produced, which is why some people get sunburned while others tan. Both are indications of skin cellular deterioration.

Following a sunburn, your skin may begin to peel. This is an indication that your body is attempting to eliminate damaged cells. Never attempt to peel the skin; allow it to fall off naturally. Learn more about sunburn treatment and how long does sunburn last in the sections below.

How long does sunburn last
Sunburn can last from 3 days to a week.

Sunburn – What you need to know

Certain individuals are more prone to sunburn than others: Your skin tone determines your susceptibility; individuals with fair skin are more at risk. However, anyone can be burned.

The UV index is a consideration: The sun’s intensity changes according to season, time of day, and geographic location. A high UV index indicates that exposed skin will burn more quickly and badly. Be careful, especially during the hottest part of the day. However, even when the index is low, the risk is still present. Every day of the year, protect yourself.

Light pink is still not acceptable: Regardless of how little the burn, it is a symptom of skin damage that can result in accelerated aging and skin cancer.

Sunburn Risks

Sunburns on a regular basis increase the danger of serious illnesses. Sunburn clearly plays a role in the development of melanoma in fair-skinned individuals, particularly those with a hereditary susceptibility. UV rays that cause skin injury have been shown to affect a tumor-suppressing gene, reducing the ability of wounded cells to repair themselves before advancing to cancer.

Individuals who work or participate in sports outside are at an increased risk of developing recurrent sunburns, which can result in skin cancer.

Even one severe sunburn throughout childhood or adolescence significantly increases your risk of acquiring melanoma later in life.

Skin damage accumulates over time, beginning with your first sunburn. The more sun you expose yourself to, the greater your risk of developing skin cancer. Even if there is no visible burn.

Five or more sunburns increase your risk of acquiring potentially fatal melanoma by more than twofold.

How long does a Sunburn Last?

Individuals may be unaware they have sunburn for up to four hours after their skin is exposed to the sun.

Sunburn indicates that the body is attempting to restore damaged skin, which may take some time.

How long does sunburn last is determined by the severity of the sunburn:

  • How long does a sunburn last in mild cases?

Mild sunburn will last around three days.

  • How long does a sunburn last in moderate cases?

Moderate sunburn lasts around 5 days and is frequently accompanied by peeling skin.

  • How long does sunburn last in severe cases?

Severe sunburn can linger for more than a week, at which point the injured individual should seek medical attention.

The first symptoms of hot, red, and sore skin typically intensify 24–36 hours after sun exposure.

Pain is frequently at its worst six to forty-eight hours after burning.

You don’t need to worry much about how long does sunburn last because if the skin is going to peel, it will normally begin 3–8 days after exposure to the sun.

While sunburn’s acute effects should resolve after a few days or weeks, the damage can have a much longer-lasting effect.

How to manage Sunburns?

Your skin can burn if exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight without enough protection from sunscreen and clothing. To aid in the healing and soothing of stinging skin instead of worrying about how long does sunburn last it is critical to treat sunburn as soon as you feel it. The first thing you should do is seek shade—preferably indoors.

Once indoors, the following dermatologist-recommended tips can help alleviate the discomfort:

  • Take frequent chilly baths or showers to assist in pain relief. As soon as you exit the bathtub or shower, pat yourself dry gently, leaving a small amount of water on your skin. Then, apply a moisturizer to aid in the retention of moisture in your skin. This may assist in alleviating the dryness.
  • To help relieve burnt skin, apply a lotion containing aloe vera. Avoid using “-caine” products (such as benzocaine) to treat sunburn, as they may irritate the skin or create an allergic reaction.
  • Consider aspirin or ibuprofen to assist in the reduction of swelling, redness, and discomfort.
  • Consume additional water. A sunburn causes the skin’s surface fluid to be drawn to the surface and away from the rest of the body. Consuming additional water while tanned helps prevent dehydration.
  • Allow blisters on your skin to heal. Blistering skin indicates that you’ve sustained a second-degree sunburn. You should not pop the blisters as they may cause infection.
  • Take extra precautions to preserve sunburned skin during the healing process. When outdoors, wear clothes that cover your skin. The greatest fabrics are those that are tightly knit. When held up to bright light, there should be no visible light coming through the cloth.
  • While sunburn may appear to be temporary, excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause long-lasting damage to the skin. This damage raises a person’s risk of developing skin cancer, emphasizing the importance of sun protection.
sunburn and aloe vera
Aloe vera helps burnt skin regenerate


How long does sunburn pain last?

If you have been wondering how long does sunburn last and when does its pain subside, well generally the pains start to go away after 48 hours.

How long does sunburn swelling last?

Swelling persists for around 2 days or more for severe burns.

How long does a bad sunburn last?

Severe sunburn may last for about a week or more.

How long does sunburn peeling last?

Peeling stops after the sunburn have healed about 7 days later from the date of getting the sunburn for mild to moderate sunburns.