Summer has arrived, which means many of us will be heading to the lake or pool or out to the ocean for vacation. Applying sunscreen is important when exposed to direct sunlight, especially when in the water since the sunlight reflects off its surface. Many people forget to protect one important part of their bodies, their feet. This area tends to get painful quickly when sunburnt and, depending on the severity, can cause unwanted long-term effects. In addition to wearing proper sun protection, the following can help keep you and your feet comfortable and safe this summer season.
A sunburn happens as a response to ultraviolet damage to the skin’s surface. The melanin in your skin helps defend against some of the sun’s rays, but your exposed skin can become damaged quickly without proper coverage. The amount of melanin in your skin varies depending on genetics. A sunburn occurs after prolonged exposure to UV rays and causes cells to become red, swollen, and painful. A severe sunburn can even blister. After your skin starts to heal, you may notice your skin beginning to peel. This is your body’s way of trying to rid itself of the damaged cells.
During the summer months, it’s easy to expose yourself to the sun’s rays. Your feet may be the last area you worry about when out enjoying the day. You may be exposing your feet to the sun any time you’re outside without full shoe coverage, including being barefoot or wearing sandals around the pool, lake, or ocean.
Sunburns are painful, and the faster you’re able to treat them, the better. Follow these tips to help treat your sunburnt feet at home and get to feeling better as soon as possible:
For severe sunburn, you may need to seek medical attention to help lessen the long-term effects and make you more comfortable.
Sometimes sunburns aren’t able to be treated appropriately at home. Some of the signs that you should seek medical attention are:
It’s important to seek the proper care to help prevent permanent damage and scarring. A medical professional can assess the damage and develop a treatment plan to get your feet feeling better faster.
There is no reason why you can’t head outdoors and feel the warmth of the sun, but proper protection for your skin is essential. If you’re outside enjoying the warmer weather and want to prevent sunburn, follow these tips:
If you follow the tips above, you will be able to decrease your risk of a serious sunburn significantly.
Every time you get a sunburn, no matter how slight, you are damaging your skin. This can result in premature aging and even heighten your risk of skin cancers such as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Sometimes you can experience flu-like symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and chills from a severe sunburn.
It’s easy to reduce your risk of sunburn if you follow the steps above. If you’re experiencing a severe burn, you may need medical attention to help make you more comfortable. Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Associates can help.
If you’re used to living an active lifestyle or are just used to wearing closed shoes, then a sunburn can cause inconvenience and pain. Depending on the severity of pain, swelling, and blistering, you may need to cease physical activity, such as dancing or running, until your skin is healed. These are only the short-term effects. Long-term effects include the possibility of skin cancer.
If you’ve experienced a severe sunburn on your feet, then medical treatment may be necessary. Dr. Schoene is a board-certified podiatrist and is trained to handle situations such as this. She can put together a plan to help minimize pain and any long-term effects from your sunburn. Reach out today to make an appointment at our Chicago office. Have fun this summer, and don’t forget your sunscreen.