In the summer, sunburned feet are very common because most people forget to apply sunscreen on this part of the body and the result is a lot of pain and discomfort when walking.
The skin on our feet is very sensitive to the sun because it is not used to being exposed to it, so it is important to protect it before wearing sandals or visiting the beach and the pool.
Here are some tips that will help you prevent an intense sunburn and tell you what to do in case you forget to apply sunscreen:
Why do our feet burn when we are outdoors?
A sunburn is an inflammatory response of the body caused by excessive ultraviolet light, also known as UV radiation. UV rays can cause damage in as little as 15 minutes of exposure.
Symptoms appear a few hours after prolonged exposure to the sun and, depending on the degree of intensity, may be mild or severe. After one day it is possible to determine the degree of a burn.
When you are exposed to the sun your skin produces more melanin, which is a dark, natural pigment that protects the skin from UV rays.
Excess melanin manifests itself as a change in skin color. In white people a reddening is evident and in brown people an increase in the natural tone of their skin.
After several days the discoloration disappears as part of the healing process of the burn.
Some symptoms of a sunburn are:
- Pain, tenderness or burning.
- Burning sensation.
- Warm to the touch.
- Small liquid-filled ampoules.
Any part of the body that is exposed to the sun is at risk of a burn, so the soles of the feet can also burn while swimming or sunbathing lying face down.
How to prevent sunburn on the feet?
The only way to prevent burns on the feet is to use a broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen. When you buy one of these products, make sure that the protection factor is at least 30 SPF.
Apply 30 minutes before sun exposure and every two hours throughout the day. If you are immersed in water, you should apply it after drying yourself with a towel.
Avoid going outdoors and wearing sandals between 10:00 am and 10:00 am. and 4:00 p.m. because these are the hours of highest solar incidence.
What to do to relieve the pain of burns?
In case of any symptoms you can do the following to relieve pain and inflammation:
- Apply cold compresses to soothe the skin.
- Moisten the skin with a cream based on aloe vera or chamomile.
- In case of blisters, wash with mild soap and water.
- If the pain is very intense, use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
When should you see a doctor?
Most sunburns peak during the first 24 hours after exposure and disappear on their own within three to seven days.
If blisters appear, the skin peels off or the pain is very intense, it is necessary to see a doctor.
Remember, protecting our skin from the sun prevents diseases such as cancer and prevents premature aging.
Article prepared by Clínica San Román