Summer is in full swing, and everyone is out enjoying the sun. Whether it’s hiking, hitting the beach, playing a game of baseball, or just catching some rays, this is an excellent time to highlight July as UV Safety Awareness Month. We all love to get some sun after being stuck indoors for so long, but it’s important to remember to keep our skin protected against damaging UV rays, including your feet. The longer you are exposed to the sun unprotected, the greater your risk of getting sun damage. As part of basic foot care, let’s go over what you need to know to have a safe and fun summer.
These are the rays produced either naturally by the sun or from artificial sources like a tanning bed or sun lamp. Excessive exposure can cause various types of skin cancer.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Anyone can get skin cancer, but some factors put a person at greater risk for developing this type of cancer. These include:
- Fair skin, skin that freckles, and blond or red hair
- Blistering sunburns before the age of 18
- Numerous moles, especially if they appeared at a young age
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Precautions to avoid harmful effects of UV radiation on the foot and ankle include:
- Try to wear water shoes or shoes and socks. Avoid flip-flops as they do not provide protection.
- Everyone remembers to use sunscreen on the rest of their body, but then forget their feet! Also, be sure to apply sunscreen on the soles as well as the tops of the feet.
- Inspect all areas of the feet daily for any spots or discolorations.
- Avoid the sun at its peak hours, usually 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact a specialist immediately if you find an issue or are experiencing pain or discomfort. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, and their staff will help diagnose and treat your foot or ankle. Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips and expert advice. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.