Hurray, it's Memorial Day and, quite appropriately given the number of people who head out into the sun for the long weekend, it’s also national sunscreen day. By now, most everyone knows that you have to put on sunscreen (and reapply regularly) if you’re planning on spending the day outdoors.
But what most of us don’t realize is that EVERY exposed bit of skin needs to be protected by sunscreen. Given that problem, I wanted to share with you the five most forgotten parts of your body (according to the AARP) that need to be slathered with sunscreen before hitting the beach (or the park, pool or even outdoor mall.)
- Tops of feet and ankles: Obviously, this is the place where this Houston podiatrist will put the most focus. In hot weather, we tend to skip socks in favor of open toed sandals, flip-flops or even bare feet (although I recommend wearing shoes whenever possible to avoid picking up common summer foot problems like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.) This less-frequently-exposed skin is even more vulnerable to sunburn than parts of the body that see the light of day more frequently, so be sure to slick on a good coating of sunscreen to any skin that will be exposed (even between your toes.)
- Back of hands: Your hands may the part of your body that get the most year-round sun exposure, so be sure and protect them by applying sun-screen. Remember to reapply after washing your hands to preserve the anti-sun protection.
- Ear lobes: Depending on how long your hair is or how you wear it, the tips of your ears and your lobes can be just as exposed to the sun as your face, so don’t forget these delicate parts when applying sunscreen.
- Chest: When you wear a “v” or scooped-neck shirt, you need to cover the exposed area with sunscreen, but you also need to reach in and around the collar as it may shift while you move around, leaving more skin exposed and unprotected.
- Scalp: This area is especially vulnerable for men with thinning hair, but women need to protect the delicate skin along the part of their hair and hairline as well. Better yet, wear a hat whenever you’re in the sun to give your scalp an extra dose of protection.