How Long Does Sunburn Last?

Sunburn can be painful and unsightly, but how long does sunburn last? The sun gives off UV rays that are easily absorbed by the outer layer of our skin. Sunburn can be dangerous if forgot to put on sunscreen. This mistake comes with its own set of consequences and our skin has to pay the price! Here’s everything you need to about how long does sunburn itch last and how to heal it. I’ve also included some tips to prevent it from happening all over again. Without waiting too much, let us now discover how long does sunburn last and tips to make it heal faster.

How Long Does Sunburn Last?

A sunburn is your skin’s reaction to the UV rays which can last about 7 to 10 days till your skin calms down. A mild to moderate sunburn can last about a week while a severe sunburn with blisters can take longer (up to 2 weeks).

Generally, people don’t realize that they are sunburned. The symptoms are visible around 4 hours after the skin is exposed to the sun. Now, you must be wondering how long does sunburn last on the face and shoulder. A mild sunburn on the face will approximately last 3 days. Your skin might peel a bit as your skin regenerates. While moderate sunburn lasts around 5 days and severe sunburn can last for more than a week. 

The immediate effects of sunburn should heal within a few days but the damage can have a longer-lasting impact sometimes. But how long does sunburn pain last? The sunburn pain starts within 6 hours and later increases after 24 hours. Moderate sunburns are very painful as the skin will be red, swollen, and continue to peel.

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Factors That Affects The Duration Of Sunburn

There are a number of factors that might affect how long does sunburn last. Below, I’ve listed some factors that make people more prone to severe suburbs.

  • Fair or light skin
  • High exposure to sun between 10 AM to 3 PM
  • High altitudes
  • Ozone holes
  • Living places near the equator
  • Tanning beds

However, not every person reacts the same way to sun exposure.

Tips To Treat Sunburn

How long a sunburn lasts usually depends on how severe the burn is. You can consider the following tips if you get burned to prevent peeling.

  • Take a cool shower or bath
  • Try to cool your skin with cold compresses
  • You can moisturize your skin while it’s still damp after a shower/bath to lock in moisture.
  • To reduce pain and inflammation, take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin.
  • Apply fresh aloe vera gel to the mild burn to increase healing time.
  • Make sure you don’t apply petroleum or oil-based ointments as it can make the burn worse.
  • Always protect your skin by wearing loose fabrics and minimizing further sun exposure.
  • Reapply sunscreen as needed if you have been exposed to UV for long periods of time.

According to experts, a single blistering sunburn doubles your risk of developing deadly skin diseases later in life. It is better to prevent sunburn in the first place to avoid severe side effects. If the sunburn is still red after 2 weeks or even 2 months, consult a skin expert. 

Now, you must be wondering how long does sunburn last with aloe. Aloe vera can be used on mild burns to increase healing time by almost 9 days. Never apply aloe vera on moderate or severe burns.

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How Fast Can Sunburns Go Away?

Mild sunburn symptoms usually clear in 3 to 5 days , while more severe burns may take a couple of weeks. The rate that your body heals may be genetically determined, according to research published in 2020, but other factors like your age and overall health also play a role.

How Long Does Sunburn Stay Red?

How long does sunburn redness last? Your redness will typically start showing up about two to six hours after sun exposure. The redness will hit a peak after around 24 hours, and then will then subside over the next day or two. The redness from more severe burns may take a bit longer to subside.

Do Sunburns Turn Into A Tan?

The bottom line. There’s no guarantee that your sunburn will turn into a tan, especially if you’re fair-skinned. Your best bet for a guaranteed tan (that’s also safe) is to just do it yourself (or have someone else do it for you) with a self-tanner or a spray tan.

Do Sunburns Fade Overnight?

How to treat a sunburn fast: While it’s not possible to get rid of sunburn redness overnight, there are things you can do to start minimizing a sunburn as soon as you notice you’ve got one. You can work against a sunburn internally and externally. First, pop an ibuprofen.

What Day Of A Sunburn Is Worse?

The signs of a sunburn may not appear for a few hours. It is typically at its worst at 24 to 36 hours after sun exposure and resolves in 3 to 5 days. Ultraviolet rays can also initially cause invisible damage to the skin. Excessive and/or multiple sunburns cause premature aging of the skin and lead to skin cancer.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sunburn?

How to treat sunburn

  1. Take frequent cool baths or showers to help relieve the pain.
  2. Use a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help soothe sunburned skin.
  3. Consider taking aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling, redness and discomfort.
  4. Drink extra water.

How Serious Is Sunburn?

Mild sunburn can be treated at home, but severe and blistered sunburn requires prompt medical attention. The long-term effects of repeated bouts of sunburn include premature wrinkling and an increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma (the most dangerous type of skin cancer).

Is It OK To Moisturize After Sunburn?

When you’re sunburned, you need to keep your skin as moisturized as possible to aid its recovery. Be sure to reapply as often as needed. You can also chill the moisturizer in the fridge before applying for added relief.

Can A Sunburn Go Away In 2 Days?

Factors that affect healing
The more severely you burn, the longer it will take for your body to replace the damaged layer of skin. Mild sunburn symptoms usually clear in 3 to 5 days , while more severe burns may take a couple of weeks.


In the above post, I’ve discussed how long does sunburn swelling last in detail. Most sunburns are mild and last for about three to five days. This time can vary depending on the severity of the burn. The damage due to modern burn cause extreme redness, blisters, and scarring. However, the symptoms can vary from redness to peeling. Remember that the symptoms of a sunburn are temporary but the damage caused to your skin and DNA is permanent. It can lead to some long-term side effects like skin cancer. After knowing how long does sunburn last, protect your skin whenever you go outside.

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How do you make sunburn go away faster