Sun Burned Feet?

Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
I was at the beach yesterday and I had something happen that never happened before. I put sunscreen on as usual but when I went to leave the beach, it hurt to put my sandals back on my feet. My feet were sunburned! I never thought about it before. They are really red and swollen. What can I do?
Really Red Tootsies
Dear Really Red Tootsies,
If it will help, I will tell you that you are not the first one to forget to lather up your feet when you are out in the sun. It is very important. You can burn all the skin on your feet – even the bottom of your feet. I know, it is that last place that you think of using sunscreen.
I do have some home remedies for sunburned feet. Actually, they will work for all sunburned body parts.
Aloe vera is a good natural remedy. You can buy it in the store but even better if you have a plant and can use it straight from the plant. Just break the leaf and apply the gel right from there.
Milk is good for burns also. Don’t use it straight from the refrigerator but let it get to room temperature or a little cooler. Soak some gauze in the milk and then apply it to the burn.
Oatmeal is also a help for sunburn. Put some oatmeal in gauze and get it wet with cool water. Wring it out and apply it to the burn for 20 minutes or so every 2 -4 hours.
Ice packs or packages of frozen peas can also help. Just make sure that you wrap them in a dishtowel to keep the really cold pack off the burned skin.
Sometimes you may get a headache from sunburn. This is a case of your body telling you that it needs hydration. Lie down in a cool dark place and drink plenty of water.
It may also feel good to soak your feet. Try putting a bit of white cider vinegar in the water (if using the bathtub, use about a cup of vinegar). Another soak can be made from combining  baking soda and cornstarch  (in a bathtub combine ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of cornstarch.
Try not to use scented soaps or lotions until your burn is gone. The scented products can be too irritating for burned skin.
If you have blisters on your feet from the burn, I would go to your friendly local podiatrist to have them checked out – especially if the blisters are big. Those big blisters can lead to infections and you want to make sure they are treated.
Now this is where I become a very serious. Did you know that you can get skin cancer on your feet? In fact,
Foot Melanoma is the deadliest cancer
I know, it seems odd but it is deadly because it is often not detected fast enough. When found early, it is highly treatable. You can get skin cancer on the top of your foot, between your toes, on the bottom of your foot, and under your toe nail. It is recommended that you check your feet every time you cut your toe nails. Often times, people will think that they have nail fungus and it is actually melanoma under the toe nail.  One thing to check on your toe nails is that if there is a spot and it doesn’t grow out with the nail. If the nail grows and the spot stays in the same place, go to the doctor to get it checked.
When you are checking your feet, you want to look to see if a freckle, mole, or spot has changed. You want to look for the ABCDEs or signs of melanoma. The ABCDEs are as follows:
A – Asymmetrical – this means that one half is shaped differently than the other.
B – Border – the edge is not even – it is irregular with notches
C – Color – it is a mix of colors not one color
D – Diameter –the spot grows bigger
E – Elevation – the spot becomes raised off the skin
So please check your feet every time you cut your toe nails. Ladies, we do like our painted toe nails but you should check them to make sure your nails are looking healthy without polish.
I wish you all fun in the sun but please, don’t forget the sunscreen on your feet!
As you know, I am a big fan of Evanston Podiatric Surgeons and Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute. I want to share with you a YouTube video that they have available. It gives you a chance to “get to know them”!
Your Pal,
The Foot Blogger Chick
If you have questions, don’t hesitate to send them to or leave them in the comment section below. I am not a doctor but I check with one before answering questions.
Trivia Question of the week – What does SPF measure? Is 30 SPF twice as good as 15 SPF?
Find the answer on our Facebook page – Evanston Podiatric Surgeons – on July 12.  While you’re there, please take a moment to “like” us.
Follow us on twitter – @EvPodiatric and the answer will be tweeted on Friday morning as well.
If you live or work downtown Chicago and would like to see one of the friendly podiatrists there, don’t worry! You can head over to the office on the “Magnificent Mile” in Chicago.  Stop in and say “Hello”. They would love to meet you. They are really that friendly!
Mag Mile Foot and Ankle Institute
333 N. Michigan Avenue Suite 1825
Chicago, IL   60601


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