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Summer’s in full swing and you’re ready to enjoy hours soaking up the sun. And you’ve done everything to protect yourself from those potentially harmful ultraviolet rays: hat, sunglasses, applying sunscreen to your face and body. Wait, aren’t you forgetting something? What about your feet? Our friendly podiatrist at Scott T. Grodman, DPM reminds our patients that the feet and ankle are particularly sensitive and require special attention during the hot weather. Neglecting them can result in painful or potentially dangerous consequences.
A form of skin cancer known as melanoma is particularly dangerous for the feet and ankles because it can crop up unnoticed. It can affect people at any age and can become malignant and spread. Protecting the feet and ankles is critical, and inspecting them daily — including the soles of the feet, toenails and between the toes — should become a habit, especially at this time of year. Early detection is of paramount importance.
Melanoma is chiefly caused by overexposure to the sun, and some factors put you at higher risk: a previous blistering sunburn; having numerous moles; skin that’s fair or freckled; and having red or blond hair.
Take precautions by avoiding unsafe footwear like flip-flops; choose water shoes or shoes and socks. Apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF to the ankles and tops and bottoms of your feet.
When inspecting your feet and ankles, look for asymmetrical spots on the skin that are usually colored brown, black, or blue, but can be red or white. Not all discolorations are melanoma, but if you see a suspicious looking skin condition, it’s always advisable to contact our podiatrist right away.
Our podiatrist at Scott T. Grodman, DPM wants our patients to enjoy the summer, but don’t forget to include your feet and ankles when protecting yourself from the sun. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.