Burns From Above and Below

Summer is fully upon us and things are heating up outside. When the sun beats down, it can cause major problems for your feet and result in serious burns. While sunburn is an obvious culprit, hot surfaces underfoot can leave you with first and second-degree burns on your feet.

The skin on your feet is thin and, unless you live your life in flip-flops, sees the sun less than your face, arms, and legs. Sunburn on the tops of feet can start in a matter of minutes after exposure. Sunscreen can wash off in the water or rub off on shoes and needs to be reapplied often.

First and second-degree sunburns on the tops of feet can make walking, wearing shoes, and every other activity incredibly painful. If you do get burned, be extra careful the next time. Severe sunburns may take up to six months to heal, during which time your skin is extra sensitive.

The bottoms of your feet may seem more resilient, but don’t be fooled. Hot surfaces underfoot can leave you with serious burns. Hot sand is responsible for thousands of emergency room visits each year and can really put a damper on an otherwise awesome beach vacation. Sand has a low specific heat, meaning it doesn’t take much energy to heat it up.

If you aren’t sure that your feet can take the heat, place the back of your hand against the ground and hold it there. If you can stand that temperature on your hand for more than 10 seconds, your feet will probably be fine. If you do get caught mid-sprint on a hot patch of sand, bury your feet. The layer beneath the top that has been baking in the sun is actually quite cool and can provide relief during the long haul to the water’s edge.

Wearing shoes is the best way to avoid burning. Flip-flops may protect from below, but the sides and tops of your feet are still exposed. Opt for fashionable FitKicks or versatile RocSocs that will take you straight into the water and keep your feet protected.

If you do get burned, use these helpful tips to relieve symptoms and start healing:

  • Cool feet with cold water soaks
  • Use burn moisturizers or aloe to soothe
  • Cold compresses can take down swelling and reduce itchy feelings
  • Keep hydrated as this will help cells heal faster
  • Avoid wearing shoes or socks that irritate the area until it is healed
  • Avoid itching, peeling, or bursting blisters as this can lead to pain and infection

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