Check Your Feet for Melanoma

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Skin cancer is usually associated with excessive sun exposure, so it can be easy to overlook the prospect of contracting skin cancer on our feet. While some skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet light damage, other factors can also be involved, so it’s important to check your feet and ankles for skin cancer as you should do with the rest of your skin.

One type of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma can show up on the soles of the feet or even underneath the toenail. Always be alert for any unusual looking lesions. Keep in mind that melanoma tends to grow into your skin layers instead of across the surface and that it can mimic other skin conditions.

Skin conditions that may actually be melanoma include:

●     Moles

●     Plantar warts

●     Ingrown or fungal toenails

●     Ulcers or blood blisters

Risk factors for developing melanoma

●     Genetic predisposition—If your relatives have had skin cancer, then you are more susceptible

●     Harmful environmental exposures—Chemical burns and toxic chemical exposure can alter the DNA in skin cells, possibly causing a malignant melanoma to develop

●     Immune system issues—Human papillomavirus and HIV contamination can limit your body’s ability to repair and remove damaged skin cells, possibly leading to cancerous lesions

If malignant melanoma reaches the blood vessels and lymph nodes, the cancerous cells can spread to other parts of the body. Be sure to have your foot doctor look at any skin growths on your feet and ankles.

If you are concerned about an unusual growth on your foot, it is time to see your podiatrist. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.