Why do sunburns itch?

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.
Release of .... ...Inflammatory chemicals from the burn wound, such as histamines and prostaglandins.
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 !

Related Questions

Why do sunburns itch and hurt? What are the best treatments for sunburns?

You burned yourself! As your skin is healing it is sending in fibroblasts to heal the skin. The nerves in the skin that you damaged send off pain signals. You can treat yourself with appropriate doses of aspirin. And most of all, use a good sunscreen when you go outside during the summer (an SPF of 30 or more is usually fine) every 2 hrs, oil base and even on cloudy days. Clouds don't block UV light. Enjoy your summer. Read more...

Why do sunburns itch so badly? Is the skin trying to heal? I had mine for 2 wks wout much decrease in redness & itchiness should I c a doc, b worried

Yes. Sounds like something other than sunburn. Have you applied something to a sunburn? Something that might cause itch? Reason for Tegratol? Best see a dermatologist. Meanwhile, try a nice, long shower using Dove or Aveeno (oatmeal) cleanser, followed by vigorous rub-down using a ceremide cream such as Eucerin or Aveeno (oatmeal). Read more...

When your sunburns peeling and it itches what can you use to releve the itch?

Anti-itch cream. Sunburn is caused by sun damage to the skin. The itching is part of the inflammatory response to that damage. You can use aloe-containing products, much as you would for a burn. Also, 1% Hydrocortisone cream may be of benefit. The main thing, though, is to avoid getting burned again in the future. Sunburns can be associated with the development of skin cancer. Read more...
VisualDX. Hi, it’s hard to say without a picture but there is a great app that may be able to help you get a diagnosis without being seen in person by a dermatologist. The app is called VisualDX and is one of the best, if not the best out there. Many clinicians, including myself, use it. Just snap a photo and it gives you a list of possible diagnoses. Good luck! Read more...

Back and sides of neck itches. Turns red and feels kind of like a sunburn. For a couple of weeks now. Gets worse wearing my scarves and a sweatshirt?

This sounds like. a contact rash, possibly from your scarves. Is the rash anywhere else? How long does it last? I would recommend having it checked by your doctor. Or if you are a HealthTap Prime member, getting a consult where you can send a photo to one of us. You can also try not wearing the scarves and see if it goes away. Antihistamines may help temporarily. Read more...