By Will Jacob
July 26, 2011
Category: Uncategorized
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As a follow up from my last entry on sandals, I’ve decided to write about sunburn as it applies to your feet. Most people are aware of the dangers of overexposure to the sun (e.g. sunburn, skin cancer) and during the summer months most people take due diligence -applying sunscreen to their body if they will be spending extended periods of time outdoors, whether it be on a hike, relaxing on the beach or swimming. However, sunscreen is often not applied to the feet!

Wearing sandals or going barefoot leaves the foot exposed to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. A sunburn on your feet looks very similar to a sunburn on any other part of the body: redness, swelling, blisters (a second-degree burn) and PAIN! Preventing sunburn is the key. Use a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30, the higher the better. Reapply every two hours and after going into the water, even if the sunscreen is labeled "waterproof" or "water resistant”. Don’t be fooled by the weather, you can get sunburn on cloudy days!

So, what should you do in the event you do get sunburned? Below are some suggestions to help ease your discomfort:

1. STAY OUT OF THE SUN!
2. Drink lots of water. You need to rehydrate yourself!
3. Take anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (e.g Advil). NSAIDS stop inflammation and reduce the amount of redness and pain.
4. Take a cool shower or bath (don’t use cold water). Apply cool compresses 3-4 times a day.

Remember, preventing sunburn next time is your best defence. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your feet.

William Jacob

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