Memorial Day is the official start of summer and here in Passaic County, we at North Jersey Podiatry know that our patients are looking forward to heading off to our lovely Jersey shore beaches or sitting by the pool over the long weekend if the weather cooperates! While we want everyone to enjoy their fun in the sun, May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and so we want to take this opportunity to remind you to protect the skin on your feet (and the rest of your body as well).
- Use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for beach and pool days. Apply to the tops and bottoms of feet every two hours and immediately after coming out of the water. Don’t forget sunscreen for non-beach days if you are going to spend a significant amount of time outdoors in open shoes.
- Keep feet covered or seek the shade during the midday hours.
- Be aware that skin cancer on your feet can also be caused by a virus, chemical exposure, chronic inflammation or irritation. Family history of skin cancer raises your risk.
- Examine the skin on your feet (don’t forget between the toes) at least once a month. Look for moles, freckles or legions that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, multi-colored, and have a diameter the size of a pencil eraser or larger. Any time a spot changes (size, color, shape, starts to bleed, itch or crust over), it’s important to make an appointment with our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein to examine the skin of your feet.
- Use indoor tanning booths. People who do have a 74% greater chance of developing a melanoma—one of the deadliest types of skin cancers—as well as increased risk for all other types of skin cancer.
- Plan your outdoor activities for prolonged periods of time when the sun is its hottest: between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.