One of the last places that we think of when applying sunscreen is our feet. But our feet are vulnerable to skin cancer just like the rest of our bodies, even under the toenails and on the soles!
Other factors besides sun exposure can cause skin cancer such as genetics, chronic ulceration, environmental factors such as chemical burns and viral infections such as HIV and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can appear on the tops of the feet, the soles and under a toenail. This cancer digs deeper and can eventually reach the blood vessels and lymph system to spread within the body.
Melanomas can take many varied forms and appearances. Look for a spot that is larger than one-quarter of an inch with unusual colors, like pink or red, and uneven borders. This type of cancer can masquerade as an ingrown nail, bruise, plantar wart, ulcer or a blood blister.
6 Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer
Early detection is very important and can even save your life. Inspect your skin – including your feet – for any irregularity. Aim for a careful examination once a month and use a mirror to see difficult spots such as the bottoms of your feet. If you notice anything unusual, give us a call.
Wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more when out of doors, and don’t forget to apply to feet, ankles and even between the toes.
Reapply sunscreen after sweating or swimming.
Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses.
Avoid picking up viruses by covering your feet in public places like pools, spas, locker rooms, and gyms.
Avoid over exposure to the sun when its rays are most intense – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
If you have any questionable spots, marks or foot discomfort, come visit us. We can help answer your questions.