Summer is finally here! The great outdoors is beckoning. Many people tend to forget that their feet and ankles are just as vulnerable to harmful UV rays as the rest of their bodies. Sunlight is a potent source of ultraviolet radiation. Overexposure to the sun can cause a host of serious health issues such as skin cancer, heat exhaustion, and melanoma. At Kentlands Foot and Ankle Center, we want all our patients to feel safe and protected while still enjoying their favorite summer activities! Below you will find signs of skin cancer and tips and tricks to protect your feet from damaging UV rays.
Learn to recognize the signs of skin cancer. A helpful way to remember the signs of skin cancer is ABCDE:
- A is for asymmetry. Most moles are symmetrical. If you find a mole that is not symmetrical, bring it to your doctor’s attention.
- B is for borders. Be alert to a new or changed mole with irregular borders.
- C is for color. If you spot a mole with an unusual color, get it checked.
- D is for diameter. Any mole larger than the eraser on the tip of a pencil should be considered suspect.
- E is for evolving. Healthy moles don’t change.
How To Protect Your Feet from Damaging UV Rays
- Always Apply Sunscreen. Most dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. This will protect your skin from 97% of the sun’s harmful UV radiation.
- Wear Shoes That Protect Your Feet. Flip-Flops and sandals are a summer favorite. But they are not the best choice for protecting your feet from the elements. Shoes such as Crocs can protect your feet while also allowing your feet to breathe. Plus, they are waterproof!
- Cover Your Skin. Get settled under a tree or canopy. Alternatively, use breathable fabrics to keep you cool and protected from the sun!
- Avoid Peak Sun-Times. In most places, the sun is usually the strongest from 10 am to 4 pm. If you are outside during these times, take precautionary measures and incorporate all our tips.
- Drink Plenty of Water every day. Remembering to stay hydrated is especially important in the summer sun. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake to replenish your body is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. When perspiring, drink even more water.
Board-certified podiatrist Dr. Jon M. Sherman uses advanced technology and can treat a wide range of patients. To schedule an appointment, please call our Montgomery County office at (301) 825-9697 or visit our website for more information.