Summertime is in full swing, which for many people means kicking off their shoes, sunbathing, and strolling along the beach. But while you're out soaking up the sun, do you remember to apply sunscreen on your feet?
When exposed to harmful UV rays, the sensitive skin on your feet is vulnerable to burns and skin cancer. If you plan on spending extensive amounts of time outdoors this season, there are several precautions that you should take to minimize sun damage. Here are three tips to protect your feet from the sun.
1. Apply Sunscreen Regularly
When applying sunscreen, many people neglect to include their feet. Since you likely already have your sunscreen on hand when at the pool, beach, or park, don’t forget to include your feet while lathering up. If you are swimming or sweating, be sure to reapply at least once every two hours.
In addition to frequent application, we recommend using sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher and applying from head to toe—literally!
2. Limit Sun Exposure
The sun's rays tend to be strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, which also happens to be the time when most people like to hit the beach or pool. While these outdoor spaces usually don’t offer much in terms of shade, seeking shade under an umbrella or tree can help limit sun exposure and keep your skin safe.
If you forgot your umbrella, digging your feet in the sand or even draping a towel over yourself can also aid in lessening the negative effects of the sun.
3. Choose Footwear That Covers Your Feet
Most individuals prefer wearing open-toed shoes like flip-flops during the summertime; however, we recommend swapping them for water shoes, sneakers, or sandals that cover a majority of your foot. Covering your feet with protective footwear while outside helps block harmful sun rays. The more coverage your footwear provides, the more protected your feet will be. But if wearing water shoes or sneakers isn't appealing to you, be extra sure to routinely apply sunscreen and limit sun exposure when wearing shoes with less coverage.
Your feet are highly susceptible to damage caused by the sun, yet effective protection is often forgotten. Wearing protective footwear, applying sunscreen, and limiting time in the sun are just a few ways to protect your feet during the summer months.
When it comes to skin, early detection of abnormalities is key to effective treatment. If you notice irregularities on your lower limbs such as moles or dark spots, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. Schedule an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists by calling (717) 757-3537 or filling out a contact form. Don’t let your feet spoil your summer!