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Mostly it is not a good sign we are burned because too much UV light has damaged our skin and increases skincancers.

But the red color we get after a few ours, what is the exact cause of it and why is it red? Is that our blood we see or other changes in skincells or our immunesystem reacting?

And why does it takes a while before it gets red?

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Sunburn causes damages in the skin which further triggers an immune reaction. This immune reaction causes a dilation of the capillaries in the skin to allow a higher transport rate towards the inflammation site. This dilation and the higher blood flow in the area causes the "redness" of inflamed tissues. See the image for illustration (from here):

enter image description here

The delay in the appearance (for more severe cases also the swelling) is caused by the time it takes for the body to react and to develop an immune response. For further information you can look here and here.

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