Importance of Sunscreen – Your feet need protection too

We all have been told time and time again of the importance of using sun screen.  The risks of skin cancer have been frequently touched upon.  Using sunscreen may almost be second nature with the Texas sun beaming down when you are out at the lake; but, do you think to apply sun block on your legs and feet whenever you are wearing shorts and sandals?  If you are a regular subscriber to our monthly newsletters, you have already been reminded to use sun block on your feet in the July newsletter.  You can receive the monthly Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists Newsletter directly to your inbox by signing up with your email.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and is exposed to the elements more than any other.  The skin on top of your feet is probably a little more sensitive to the sun because many shoes keep them covered.  When the weather permits sandals and flip flops, it is critical that you cover them in sunscreen. You can prevent the pain and redness by using a 15 sun protection factor or higher lotion.  Remember that whether you are in water or just sweating a lot it is important to reapply every 2 hours that you continue to be out in the sun.  Sunburn on top of your feet can be especially problematic for most types of footwear.  While prevention is better, cool water can help alleviate some of the discomfort and aloe creams should be applied to promote healing.

Sun exposure can increase your risk for some types of skin cancer.  While these problems are found less often in the foot than other parts of the body, one should still be cautious about changes to the skin.  It is important to keep an eye on any changes you see to the skin of your feet.  Any spots that change in color, shape, or size should be examined by an Austin podiatrist.  Many spots that occur on the foot are benign, and can be left alone, but in the rare instance that it is not, it is worth a visit to our office.

Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
The tops of my feet have often been forgotten when applying sunscreen - to my detriment that's for sure. Nothing quite so uncomfortable as stinging red feet! Especially when I have remembered to protect the rest of my body and have a glorious tan from a wonderful day in the sun but can't go out as I can't walk!
by sue ingram September 18, 2011 at 08:22 AM
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