A researcher has warned that certain "fashionable" accessories can often pose serious health risks - like flip-flops and baseball caps. Though these are now must-have accessories for teens, outdoor enthusiasts, gardeners or anyone trying to keep cool during the sweltering days of summer, they may also result in skin cancer.
"Most skin cancers occur on the parts of the body that are repeatedly exposed to the sun," said Dr. Anthony Peterson, assistant professor of medicine, dermatology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, Ill.
"The problem with flip-flops and baseball caps is that they leave the tips of the ears and the tops of the feet dangerously exposed to sun damage. The potential for skin cancers in those areas are real, especially on the tips of the ears," he added.
Peterson said that before flip-flops and baseball caps became popular, people venturing out on sunny days traditionally wore broad-rimmed hats and sneakers or shoes that afforded a large measure of protection to the tops of their feet and tips of their ears.
"But now those areas of their bodies have very little protection. Combine that with the fact that most people using sunscreen frequently overlook those parts of their bodies when applying it. From my point of view as a dermatologist, that's not a very good combination," Peterson said.