Rough Science
Explore the Challenges
Solve the Web Challenge
Meet the Rough Scientists
About the TV Series
Discover More
Site Map
Explore the Challenges

The Challenge: Make Sunblock

Why does our skin get sunburned?

Sunburn is a little different than tanning. Sunburn, also called erythema, is cellular damage from the sun. UVB is responsible for most cases of sunburn and skin cancers. The outer layers of the skin absorb its shorter wavelengths and cause them to burn without stimulating much tanning, The photochemical reaction causes increased blood flow to the capillaries of your skin. Redness is caused by the extra blood flow. When you press on the sunburned skin, it becomes white until the capillaries refill.

Surface of the skin burning