6 Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer on Your Feet
Did you know that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime? At FL Foot Health we know that the year-round pleasant weather in our state means that patients spend an above average amount of time outdoors. This can mean an even higher risk of skin cancer if the proper precautions are not taken.
May is National Skin Care Awareness Month. The skin on your feet and ankles is just as susceptible to being hurt by the harmful rays of the sun as the skin on the rest of your body. Follow these 6 tips to greatly reduce your chances of developing skin cancer.
1. Always use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB protection) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher when going outdoors. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. If you are planning to be outside for an extended period of time, use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply to the tops and bottoms of your feet if you will be in a lounge chair or at the beach or lake. Reapply every two hours and/or after swimming.
2. Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
3. Use protective clothing including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
4. Never use tanning beds.
5. Keep a close eye on your children’s skin. Keep newborns out of the sun and use sunscreen on children six months old and up.
6. Do a self-exam of your skin from head to toe every month. If you notice a new or unusual mole or freckle on the skin of your feet or ankle, or if an existing mole changes in color, shape, size or texture, contact your podiatrist as soon as possible for an appointment. Need to find a podiatrist in your area? Use our online directory.