Dr. Holick describes the difference between a tan and a sunburn and shares that even those with a darker pigment can become sunburned.
Well, a burn is that your skin gets red. The problem is that if you are already pigmented, you know, typically African American for example, you might think that they can’t get a sunburn. They can, and in fact, they often do if they’re not careful in being outside.
So it’s really the redness that occurs within the 24-hour period that is considered to be a sunburn, as opposed to a tan, which usually takes several days before you even begin to see it because the way tanning occurs is that, the sunlight hits your melanocytes and the melanocytes begin to make melanin, but it takes several days for that to occur, and as a result, sunburning occurs immediately; tanning takes several days to occur.
About Dr. Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D.:
Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D., is the Professor of Medicine of Physiology and Biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and performed his residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Holick specializes in vitamin D, calcium, bone metabolism, photobiology of vitamin, and osteoporosis. Dr. Holick is also the recipient of the American Skin Associations Psoriasis Research Achievement Award, the American College of Nutrition Award, the Robert H. Herman Memorial Award in Clinical Nutrition from the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, and more.