Sun Exposure and Your Feet: Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

When the days start to get sunny and the out-of-doors beckons, the shelves at the local pharmacy start filling up with the latest selections of sunscreen.  We buy them up by the armfuls and commence applying some level of promised protection to our faces, arms, hands, backs, and legs.  But what about our feet?  When was the last time you actually put sunscreen on your feet?  If you’ve been as remiss as most of us, read on…


Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma are cancers of the feet that have causes related to sun exposure.

-Basal Cell Carcinoma is one of the least aggressive cancers to affect the body.  Its damage is localized, rarely spreading beyond the skin.  When located on the feet, basal cell carcinomas may look like benign ulcers or benign skin tumors like warts and moles.  They may first appear as pearly white bumps.  Over time, they may appear crusty.  There is usually no pain associated with basal cell carcinomas.

-Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer on the feet.  Early squamous cell carcinomas are localized.  Advanced squamous cell carcinomas, however, can aggressively spread throughout the body.  Squamous cell carcinomas on the feet appear as small, scaly bumps that are inflamed, bleeding, or cracking.  They may itch and are commonly dismissed as one of a number of skin conditions of the foot.

In order to prevent basal or squamous cell carcinomas on the feet, it is important to limit exposure to direct sunlight and to wear sunscreen when your feet are exposed.  The practice of proper foot hygiene, including regular visits with Dr. Burmeister, is another way to reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer of the feet.  During these regular visits, he will examine your feet for signs of skin cancer.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as those mentioned previously, Dr. Jeffrey Burmeister, DPM, and his experienced staff are ready to make a diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan.  Schedule an appointment by calling (904) 765-8889 or by completing an online appointment request at