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Name: Rich K Magnuson
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I've noticed that after I've received a sunburn somewhere on my skin, that particular patch of burned skin feels warmer to the touch as opposed to unexposed skin, even hours or days after the burn occurred. Is it psychological on my part or is there an explanation for it? Burned toast will seem to reach equilibrium with room temperature, so why would burned skin be 'warmer' than normal skin?

The burned skin stays warm because of the way the body responds to injury. The immune system senses damage and calls for help. Help is delivered by increasing the blood flow to the region. The increased blood flow makes the region warm and red (blushing). Similar inflammatory responses will be seen after many types of injury, including insect bites and scrapes, and some infections.

Steve J Trizeneberg

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