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A 32-year-old member asked:

Why do sunburns itch?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Benabio
Dermatology 19 years experience
Special nerves: Sunburn damages the surface layer of your skin. This outermost area is loaded with special nerve fibers called c-fibers, that respond to itch. (itch is a mechanism to protect us agains insects and other minor injuries that aren't significant enough to register as pain). Because sunburn skin damage happens in this surface layer, these nerves fire furiously until the skin is healed over again.
Dr. Michael Miller
Wound care 37 years experience
Related to healing: Sunburn occurs when the radiation from the sun damages the skin and the many things which is the bodies way to promote healing through getting good blood there and damaged things out. As healing occurs, the nerves in the area react to the healing causing an irritation that we interpret as itching. A good anti-burn ointment gently applied will help minimize the itching. Don't scratch the burn !
Dr. Thomas Fiala
Plastic Surgery 34 years experience
Release of ....: ...Inflammatory chemicals from the burn wound, such as histamines and prostaglandins.

Similar questions

A 29-year-old member asked:

What causes itching after a sunburn?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Robert Jackson
Dermatology 44 years experience
Histamine: Histamine and other chemicals are released after a sunburn into the skin.
A 45-year-old member asked:

Unbearable sunburn itch. What can I do?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) can reduce redness, pain, itching & swelling from a burn. It has anesthetic, anti-inflammatory & antibacterial / antifungal qualities. Hope you feel less itchy soon.
Last updated Apr 26, 2021

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