Can Sunburns Affect Your Mental Health?

skin and mental health

When you meet someone for the first time, one of first things he or she notices about you is your skin. Your skin plays a key role in the first impression other individuals have of you. Today, it is very clear that human society values the appearance of your skin. According to Fortune Business, the skin care industry topped 133 billion dollars in 2018 and is expected to reach a 200 billion dollar valuation by 2026.

One study conduced by Cosmetics Europe found that 72% of Europeans believe that personal care and cosmetic products increased their quality of life, while 80% believe these products help to build self esteem. This data suggests that sunburns, peeling skin, or other skin issues may affect more areas of a person’s life than you initially think. Friendly and intimate relationships may suffer, as there is often a stigma among people with visible skin issues. In another study, 26% of individuals with a visible skin issue had at least one experience where another person tried not to touch them.

There are a variety of mental health disorders that are comorbid with skins issues. Common mental health conditions include:

  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Delusional disorders
  • Somatoform disorders

It is obvious that good skin health plays a role in long term mental health. In this article we will focus on how you can protect mental health by protecting your skin from sunburn.

What does a peeling sunburn really mean for your skin?

Burns from the sun, along with all of the unpleasant symptoms that accompany them, are not only unpleasant but also potentially harmful. Even though the vast majority of us are aware that getting a sunburn raises our risk of developing skin cancer and that we should try to prevent getting one, accidents may and do occur. And the subsequent harm might often come with unintended consequences that we are ill-equipped to deal with.

Redness, swelling, and discomfort are common symptoms of sunburn, and in extreme cases, peeling may also occur. In spite of the fact that peeling skin is a sign that your body is working to mend itself, the process may be annoying, uncomfortable, and ugly while it is taking place.

If your skin begins to peel after a really severe sunburn, the one thing you should never, ever do is pick, peel, or scratch the peeling skin. This will only make the situation worse.

Picking at peeling skin might make you more susceptible to infection. Do not pick at peeling skin since it can make you more prone to infection. This is due to the fact that tugging or scratching off peeling skin might reveal unhealed skin below, which will not have the appropriate barrier to ward off microorganisms that could be hazardous.

Therefore, when your skin is flaking, it is in your best interest to give your body the time and space it needs to heal itself. Once the sunburn has healed, which typically takes about a week for moderate to light burns, your skin will often cease peeling on its own.

When the skin is burned, what changes take place in the skin?

A burn that is mostly brought on by ultraviolet B light from the sun is referred to as sunburn. It takes place when an excessive amount of exposure to UV radiation causes the body’s defenses to become overwhelmed. Burning from the sun is a harmful response that takes place.

The severity of sunburn is determined by both the kind of skin you have and the amount of time you were exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. People with fairer skin are more likely to suffer from severe sunburn. Even though they only damage the epidermis, which is the topmost layer of skin, sunburns of the first degree can cause the skin to become red and sensitive to the touch. Burns with this level of severity should begin to show signs of improvement within a few days.

Second-degree Sunburn

A second-degree sunburn is a more dangerous condition. These sunburns cause the skin to swell up and blister, and the redness is really intense. This indicates that the deeper layer of skin known as the dermis as well as the nerve endings have been injured. It is anticipated that sunburn of this degree will be more excruciating than a burn of the first degree and will take significantly longer to recover.

Both of these forms of burns, however, have the potential to start peeling (usually about three days after you sustain them). So, what measures can you take to counteract this effect?

How long does peeling last?

The majority of the time, your skin will begin to peel around three days after it has been burnt. In most cases, peeling will cease after the burn has healed, which typically takes approximately seven days for less severe burns.


It is essential that you keep an eye on your sunburn for any indicators of a serious burn, such as the following:

Symptoms such as blistering or peeling across significant regions of your body, such as your entire back; fever or chills; a sensation of wooziness or confusion;

Burns of this degree need to be treated by a medical professional.

Avoid becoming sunburned in the first place to stop your skin from peeling.

There is some good news for those of you who despise the appearance and sensation of dead skin peeling off your body in large pieces that resemble paper matches. If you take precautions to stop yourself from being sunburned in the first place, you won’t ever have to go through the painful process of peeling skin from a sunburn again.

Protecting your skin from the sun’s rays by covering it up with a hat, long sleeves, trousers, or shoes with closed toes is one of the most important things you can do. A sunburn is the result of your skin being subjected to an excessive amount of ultraviolet (UV) light. You can protect an existing sunburn from further damage that might raise the chance of significant peeling if you wear protective clothing or cover up if you already have one.


1. How long does it take for the peeling caused by sunburn to go away?

A sunburn is a painful and reddened skin condition caused by overexposure to the sun. After a few days, it can start to flake and peel. You should be able to cure it on your own. In most cases, recovery takes place within a week.

2. What happens if you peel the skin that has been sunburned?

To make matters worse, peeling skin before it is ready to do so might interfere with the healing process and leave you vulnerable to infection. Picking at the skin can also cause scarring on the layer beneath the injury, similar to that caused by acne. Because the skin does not always peel in the same direction at the same time, tearing off portions of flaky skin might result in the removal of healthy skin by accident.

3. Is it possible to get a tan from a sunburn that is peeling?

There is no assurance that a tan will develop from sunburn, particularly if you have pale skin. Fair-skinned people tend to burn more easily. Using a self-tanning product or getting a spray tan is your best choice for achieving a tan that is not only assured but also safe. You may do it yourself or have someone else do it for you.


Your mental health is closely linked to the appearance of your skin. Sunburn is the most common cause of damage to the epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin, which can cause dryness and peeling of the skin. Peeling skin is a symptom that should be taken seriously since it might indicate a malfunction of the immune system or another sickness. It may also trigger mental health issues such as social anxiety and depression.

Before attempting any home treatments for your peeling skin, consult a healthcare practitioner. The easiest way to connect with a doctor online is via Marham. Your doctor may refer you to a cosmetic dermatologist who has the training and experience needed to treat your condition. You may also need to speak with a therapist if you have become seriously depressed and unmotivated for more than two weeks.