July is Ultraviolet Awareness Month. Now that summer has finally arrived, people are anxious to get outdoors and enjoy the fun. It’s an excellent time for hiking, going to the beach, hitting the pool, playing sports, or just enjoying the sun. Unfortunately, exposure to the sun comes with several health risks, including those to your feet. Here’s what you need to know.
THE DANGER OF UV RAYS
UV rays are ultraviolet radiation that comes mainly from the sun. In most places, they’re strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. It also depends on the season and cloud coverage. Besides general skin damage, these rays are a significant cause of skin cancer.
DANGERS OF SKIN CANCER
Getting 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of getting skin cancer. Every day 95,000 people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer. 1 in 5 Americans will get some form of skin cancer at least once during their lifetime. The skin on your feet is no different from any other part of your body and should be protected from excess sun. Although skin cancer of the foot accounts for only 1% of skin cancers in total, it can be extremely deadly and needs to be addressed immediately.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FEET SAFE
First, it’s always important to check with a qualified specialist for any concerns with your feet. Here are a few easy things you can do to minimize the damage done to your feet by the sun:
- Use sunscreen lotion.
- Find shade.
- Use footwear that doesn’t expose your feet.
- Go out when the sun is weakest.
- Choose activities that aren’t directly in the sun.
Skin cancers on the feet can cause discoloration, cracked or bleeding skin, and should be taken very seriously if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms.
Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips or other foot-related issues. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.