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Posts for: May, 2015

By dtodoroffdpm@keystonefootdoc.com
May 29, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

As we kickoff the unofficial start of summer be aware of skin cancer and yes, even skin cancer of the feet!  Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the feet and legs. Skin cancers of the feet have several features in common. Very often there will be no pain and often there is some recurrent scaling, or bleeding or ulceration. 

The causes of these cancers can be attributed to sun exposure, viruses, or chronic inflammation. And since our feet are often ignored in a routine medical examination, these lesions are often missed.  Some of the types of skin cancers include those that every one has heard of: 1. Basal Cell Carcinoma, which most often occurs on sun exposed areas, looks like nothing more than a persistent open sore, and is the least aggressive; 2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which is the most common cancer of the skin of the feet, is usually not aggressive but is known to spread throughout the body. This may be painless or itchy, or resemble a plantar wart or any other common skin condition.  3. Malignant Melanoma: Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers known.  This type of skin cancer must be detected very early to ensure patient survival. Melanomas can occur anywhere on feet and even  beneath a toenail.  As a melanoma grows and extends deeper into the skin, it becomes more serious and may spread through the body. It may begin as a small brown-black spot or bump or even appear pink or red. These tumors may resemble common moles; however, close inspection will usually demonstrate asymmetry, irregular borders, alterations in color, and/or a diameter greater than 6 mm.  Melanomas may resemble benign moles, blood blisters, ingrown nails, plantar warts, ulcers caused by poor circulation, foreign bodies, or bruises. 

Learn the ABCDs of melanoma. If you notice a mole, bump, or patch on the skin that meets any of the following criteria, see a podiatrist immediately:

  • Asymmetry - If the lesion is divided in half, the sides don't match.

  • Borders - Borders look scalloped, uneven, or ragged.

  • Color - There may be more than one color. These colors may have an uneven distribution.

  • Diameter – The lesion is wider than a pencil eraser (greater than 6 mm).

    To detect other types of skin cancer, look for spontaneous ulcers and non-healing sores, bumps that crack or bleed, nodules with rolled or “donut-shaped” edges, or scaly areas.

    If you are suspicious of any unusual looking area on your feet, visit your podiatrist, dermatologist or primary care physician. As always, prevention of skin cancer on the feet and ankles is similar to any other body part. Limit sun exposure, and make sure to apply appropriate sunscreen when you are outdoors and your feet and ankles are exposed.

     




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Podiatrist - Harrisburg, Keystone Podiatric Medical Associates, 6100 Old Jonestown Rd., Harrisburg PA, 17112 717-541-0988