We all know we should wear sunscreen and most of us do this day and age, but the feet remain one of the most commonly forgotten body parts when it comes to slathering on the protective product. What’s worse, some of those who remember they should be applying SPF to their feet often purposefully neglect to do so when they’re at the beach so sand doesn’t stick to their feet, a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found. But as it turns out, both forgetting and purposefully skipping out on applying sunscreen to your feet is a big mistake.
Just like with the ears, scalp, hands and lips, your feet and ankles are just as susceptible to harmful skin rays and resulting conditions like acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) and other forms of skin cancer without the use of sunscreen. In fact, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) warns that not only is skin cancer of the foot becoming more widespread, it can be fatal if not caught very early by you or a podiatrist.
How To Protect Your Feet From Sunburn and Skin Cancer
With the above in mind, podiatric experts recommend that you inspect your feet for any abnormal or new moles, freckles or spots — whether you’ve had a foot sunburn in the past or not. Be sure to check your soles, between the toes and even under your toenails, as warning spots can appear there, as well. After all, early detection is the key to effective treatment of all types of cancer.
If you frequently check your feet for moles, freckles and other signs of changes as well as apply SPF to your entire body every day, then you can significantly reduce your chances of developing all types of skin cancer, including squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Furthermore, you reduce your chances of developing sun-weakened toenails, age spots and skin wrinkles, all of which definitely derail those perfect spring and summer pedicures!