|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Along with the blazing sun, higher gas prices, and ill-advised swimsuit choices, flip-flops signal the onset of the summer season. But look out, Birkenstock Bob and Sandal Sue: New research indicates that excessive flip-flop wearers are at a much higher risk of developing skin cancer on their feet. Even worse, only half of patients inflicted with foot melanomas survive, while four out of five victims survive melanoma that develops elsewhere on their legs.
"Our feet are enclosed in shoes most of the year and then we pack our sandals for a holiday in very hot temperatures. This means feet are particularly susceptible to sunburn," (said Dr. Anthony Kontos, head of the clinic at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth). "People are generally aware of checking other parts of their body for suspicious moles but they're unlikely to examine their feet."
Luckily, we can all take preventative measures that don't involve wearing Doc Martens to the beach: Healthy, continuous slatherings of SPF-15 or higher sunblock can help keep you from turning your piggies into crispy bacon.