Walking barefoot on sidewalks, sandy beaches or concrete surfaces... in the summer can make you vulnerable to severe burns.
In the summer, we are very much warned by doctors and experts about protecting our skin from the sun. They told us to use sunscreen, drink enough water, wear a wide-brimmed hat... And we do all of those, leaving no area to be exposed to UVA or UVB rays. However, we may forget about a part of the body where the sun cannot shine to - our feet. Yes, it's hard for our feet to get sunburns. But it's very easy for them to get contact burns.
According to a new research from doctors at Nevada Las Vegas Medical University, putting your feet into contact with the road surface - which is highly hot in the summer - can cause severe burns. "At the highest temperature, the road surface can be hot enough to cause second-degree burns in just a few seconds," said the new report published in Burn Care & Research.
Also in the report, about 90% of the road-related burns occur when the temperature is higher than 35 degrees Celsius. Studies show that the risk of pavement burns in areas with direct sunlight starts at about 35 degrees Celsius and exponentially increases when the ambient temperature rises.
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The authors of the new report say that accurate determination of the temperature that may cause pavement burns will help people reduce it. The researcher Jorge Vega, the lead author of the study, said this information is useful for care centers in hotter climates, to plan and prepare the treatment.
According to researchers, the most at-risk people with sidewalk burns are children, people who are confused, nervous, who don't know the damages that may occur when exposed to the hot road surface. In additiono, those with certain disabilities or people with seizures, strokes... can be a victim, too.
Dr. Baruch Fertel (Emergency Department Doctor at Cleveland Hospital), told us that people with neurological conditions and nervous system conditons are also more likely to suffer severe burns. That's because people with healthy nervous system will know right away when walking on a dangerously hot surface. Normally, people will jump out immediately, while people with neurological problems may not react so fast.
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Fortunately, it's easy to protect yourself and your family from feet burns, as any kinds of footwear can completely cover your feet and protect them when you walk on hot roads or sand. And if you or your child has to walk somewhere without proper footwear, like on the concrete surrounding the pool, you should check the concrete before letting your child walk on it barefoot or play on it.
Watch next: How to Treat a Contact Burn