Let’s say you’re not especially concerned about skin cancer, because you’re careful, right? You wear long pants, long sleeves, and a hat when you’re out in the sun. You haul a big umbrella to the beach and sit in the shade. Whenever your face, chest, arms, and legs are exposed, you slather them with suntan lotion. Okay, so far so good.
Now: look at your feet. If you’re barefoot or wearing sandals, the skin on your feet is being exposed to damaging sunlight. Did you remember to put lotion on them? If not, you’re not alone. Many people make the mistake of skipping over their feet when applying suntan lotion. Skin cancer, however, can affect all parts of your feet, according to Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, our expert podiatrists here at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland.
2 ways to prevent skin cancer on your feet
Excessive exposure to the sun is just one cause of skin cancer. Your chance of getting skin cancer on your feet is also related to your family history, exposure to certain viruses, and chronic irritation. That’s why it’s important to protect your feet from basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – in two ways:
- Be vigilant about including your feet when applying suntan lotion. Use lotion with an SPF of 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
- Examine your feet periodically for spots, sores, or growths. If you see any new lesions, or if existing ones have grown larger, darker, seem to have irregular borders, or experience any other changes, contact us online for an appointment at our office in Solon, Ohio, or call (440) 903-1041.
As we cautiously leave our homes and enjoy the many parks and beaches now open in Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Cuyahoga Counties remember to protect your feet from the sun’s rays, and please continue to observe the recommended guidelines for avoiding COVID-19.