You’ve been told time and time again to always sport that sunscreen before going outside. You’re all lathered up to protect yourself from the sun’s powerful rays but hold on just a moment. Didn’t you forget something? If you haven’t been putting sunscreen on your feet then you may just want to read further!
While you may be applying sunscreen every day in an effort to protect yourself from skin cancer, you may have forgotten one rather important area of the body that also requires sunscreen: your feet. Just like the rest of your body, skin cancer can develop anywhere on feet. Since this is a less obvious location, most people won’t catch the issue until it’s become widespread and serious. Melanoma symptoms can sometimes be very subtle and unless you are getting regular foot exams and performing self-exams regularly you may not notice skin cancer in inconspicuous areas such as between toes or under the toenails.
When it comes to sunscreen it’s important to apply it about 15 to 20 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should be broad spectrum and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to reapply sunscreen after sweating or swimming (or at least every two hours). A good rule of thumb is, if your feet are going to be exposed to the sun then it’s time to apply sunscreen. Even if you are just walking around outside in flip-flops, you should still put sunscreen on your feet before leaving the house.
Of course, even when practicing good sunscreen application, it’s still important to inspect your feet thoroughly and regularly so that if there are any changes to the health of your feet that you’ll be able to tell right away and come in to see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
If you do notice a suspicious mole or growth it’s important that you play it safe and have it checked out by a foot doctor. Skin cancer can happen to anyone. Isn’t it time you protected your skin? Reach out to a podiatrist if you have any questions or concerns about your foot health.