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It’s summertime — and, for some of us, sunburn time. But what happens to your skin when it starts sizzling in the sun?

Too much ultraviolet exposure can lead to DNA damage in the skin. The human body has its own repair system that jumps into action when that happens. The blood vessels in the skin start to dilate and inflammatory cells rush to the burn, making skin red and painful.


Your body can deal with some of the damage from a sunburn. But if you suffer too much damage, the repair system can’t keep up and your body starts to shed that damaged DNA. That’s what causes the skin to peel after a bad sunburn.

Find out more about the science of sunburns in the new episode of “Boddities.”

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