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Flip-flops 'linked to skin cancer'

They may be just perfect for hot weather but wearing sandals and flip-flops puts you at risk of developing skin cancer on feet.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, London
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 05:22 PM IST

They may be just perfect for hot weather and a fashion hit of the summer, but remember wearing sandals and flip-flops can put you at risk of developing skin cancer on your feet.



Researchers have earlier warned of some link between open-toed footwears and skin patches.



Now, medics have also joined the attack by saying that sporting them can increase a person's chance of getting lesions as the skin becomes exposed to intense sunlight, a key cause of skin tumours, or melanomas.



Cancer that affects the feet is actually known as "acral melanoma" and typically occurs on the sole of the foot, between the toes or under the toenails. Research has revealed that only half of patients with foot melanomas survive.



Anthony Kontos, Head of the clinic at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, who regularly treats patients with flip-flop injuries, said people often mistook skin cancer on the feet for bruising.



"With the increasing popularity of open-toed sandals and flip-flops, feet often have a sudden blast of intense sunlight. Our feet are enclosed in shoes most of the year and then we pack our sandals for a holiday in hot temperatures. This means feet are particularly susceptible to sunburn."



"People are generally aware of checking other parts of their body for suspicious moles but they're unlikely to examine their feet," British newspaper

'The Daily Telegraph'

quoted the pediatric surgeon as saying.



But, hey ladies, if you still want to sport those comfortable footwears apply sunscreen to feet, including the soles - that is the advice from doctors.



However a British Skin Foundation Spokesman said, "The fact is that all types of skin cancer are on the rise. Women especially are susceptible because any lotion applied to the bridge of the foot gets rubbed off by sandals."

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