While everyone knows to apply sunscreen to other parts of the body, people forget to apply it to the feet! we have treated many cases of sunburn of the top of the feet. Worse, the ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause skin cancers, and these can affect the skin of the feet and legs There are three main skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma . By far, the most serious is the malignant melanoma, which can be fatal. These often begin as moles that change their color or shape. They are usually located on exposed areas of the body. While uncommon in the foot, those that do affect the foot are often very aggressive. The skin of the feet and legs should be inspected frequently, and any suspicious skin lesion should be shown to your podiatrist. This is particularly important in moles that increase in size, darken in color or show different shades of color within them, and in growths that enlarge, become painful, or start to bleed. Prevention of these skin cancers and of sunburn of the feet is simple. Apply sunscreen liberally to the feet when outside. Use a type that is sweat- and water-resistant, and re-apply it frequently. Use a sunscreen with an SPF (Skin Protection Factor) of at least 30, which will block 95% of the ultraviolet radiation. Enjoy the sun of the summer while keeping your feet comfortable and safe!
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