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Not so happy feet

health-and-fitness Updated: Jun 28, 2008 15:20 IST
Neha Sharma
Neha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Enough of patting sunscreen on your face. Believe it or not, your feet need it more. If you are one of those who frequently wear flip flops or open sandals, then you are at the risk of developing skin cancer. Dermatologists say that this part of the body is most susceptible because it is often ignored.

Dr Shehla Agarwal, consulting der matologist, says that fear of tanning compels many to apply sun-block creams or lotions on their face and arms.

The feet remain unattended to. If they apply sunscreen to their feet, they immediately slip into sandals and the cream is wiped out.

“In winters, our feet are kept safe inside shoes. Then they are suddenly exposed to extreme sunlight in sum mer. Fair skin is more vulnerable to cancer,” says Agarwal.

Acral melanoma (cancer of feet and hand) though not very common, affects Indian skin too, she warns. It emerges like a bruise and is often ignored.

The bruise does not fade, it appears and disappears. Then the toe nail lifts up or separates from the skin or, there is a black streak on the nail.

That’s the danger sign. As far as possible, try to wear socks with footwear, advises Dr Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon, Apollo Hospital. “In the west, they have introduced UV radiation-free clothing,” he informs. “If possible, we can also adopt such clothes.”