Why does the sun cause sun burns?

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Nothing spoils a day outdoors faster than sunburns but what is truly happening with your skin when it goes from being tanned to burned? Everyone’s skin contains pigments called melanin which makes the skin darker. The more melanin we have, the more darker is the skin.  The melanin plays a vital role in protecting the skin upon contact with sunlight by absorbing the ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In fact, a person “getting tanned” is actually a defence mechanism, where the body starts making more melanin when UV rays hit the skin.  Now, if the body has this amazing natural defence, then why do we still get burns?

Each person can only produce so much melanin and that is determined by genetics. Simply put, most people are not able to make adequate amount of melanin to protect their skin and when the melanin runs out, the sun inflicts damage causing skin cells to die and when this happens, the body sends blood to the area for repair which gives your skin that bright red colour.