Summer is back and so is damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is the best time to remind you to apply sunscreen to the top of your feet and legs (as well as the rest of your exposed skin).
Years ago, I made the mistake of going to the beach and not thinking that I needed sunscreen on my feet. That sunburn on the top of my feet was not pleasant at all. I learned my lesson and now I make sure to protect not only my feet, but my kids’ feet too.
Not protecting your skin from harmful UV radiation reveals consequences often seen later in life. UV radiation significantly contributes to accelerated skin aging.
Many skin cancers are linked to sun exposure. Common medications like antibiotics or even ibuprofen can increase a person’s photosensitivity leading to more sun damage.
When choosing a sunblock for your skin protection, make sure it has “UVA” and “UVB” coverage. Both types of sun radiation cause damage.
The SPF (Sun Protective Factor) should be at least 30. The two basic types of sunscreen are physical and chemical.
Physical sunscreen is creamy and reflects UV radiation (eg. Zinc Oxide). It works as soon as you apply it, it is not absorbed through the skin, but can be difficult to spread evenly and can leave skin looking pale like a ghost.
Chemical sunscreens are easier to apply and take about 15 minutes to start protecting against UV radiation. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin though and data is unclear if there are consequences for this.
Remember to reapply every two hours and/or after swimming and peak sun exposure is usually between 10:00am and 2:00pm. And overcast weather doesn’t stop UV radiation!
Best summer wishes from Sohl Foot & Ankle. Call us for all your foot and ankle problems at 267-699-3839.
PHOTO CAP: Make sure to apply lotion to your feet to prevent sun related skin damage.