I understand that skin cells die and fall off etc, is that all there is to the reddened, sunburnt skin going away as well?
When you get a sunburn, it’s like your skin got a cut. Just like when you scrape your knee, your skin turns red and sometimes hurts.
But with a sunburn, it’s your skin’s way of telling you that you’ve been out in the sun too long and it’s trying to heal itself.
The redness will go away after a few days, but it’s important to always wear sunscreen and not stay in the sun too long to prevent getting another sunburn.
Your skin itself isn’t really red; the redness is actually caused by your body’s immune response – your blood vessels will dilate so you can get more blood to the area to clean up the damage caused by the sunburn. The extra blood in the area gives your skin that reddened appearance.
When the damage is healed (mostly, part of the reason skin cancers happen is because damage is hard for the body to detect), the blood vessels return to normal and the skin color does as well.