Well you can add flip-flops to the list — I’m sure my mother is throwing hers away right now.
Before you toss them though, let me clarify. It is not your flip-flops that cause cancer. In fact, I’ve not seen any studies linking sandals, tongs, flip-flops, or any other foot wear to skin cancer. There are good studies however, which show that sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer, and those glowing-white feet that have been protected in shoes all year are now at significant risk in sandals.
How many of you have had a foot sunburn? Most of us have. That’s because we usually apply sunscreen to our face, arms, neck, and legs but neglect to apply it to the tops of our feet.
Wearing flip-flops exposes the tops of your feet to direct sunlight, significantly increasing your risk for developing a sunburn. Wearing flip-flops will not cause cancer, but getting a blistering sunburn on your feet every summer might.
Remember that because your feet have not seen the sun much for most of the year and are perpendicular to the sun’s rays, they are particularly vulnerable to sun damage. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 when you put on your flip-flops. You’ll thank me later.
Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. You might also like:
Photo credit: Brandi Valenza