Color, size, growth. These are the three main areas to look out for when it comes to checking your freckles and moles. If you notice any changes or they fall outside the following perimeters, it may need to be examined and biopsied to rule out any skin cancers.
Let’s look closer at a cancer called melanoma. Melanoma is a skin cancer that can affect all age ranges. Typically, we look for the ABCDs of melanoma when inspecting these spots.
Asymmetry: not circular/one side not matching the other.
Border: the edge of the spot is ragged, or blurred.
Color: can be a mix of colors and hues, rather than a single, solid color.
Diameter: growing or larger than 5mm (size of a pencil eraser).
These are all areas of concern. If you have even just one of these that is abnormal, please call us for a further evaluation.
Early detection is key when it comes to skin cancer. Prevention is even better. What can you do to prevent skin cancer on your feet? Wear shoes or socks that block the sun or wear sunscreen, even between your toes. Look at your feet daily. We’ve talked about this before but the importance of looking around and between the areas of the foot is crucial in order to find problems before they become serious. Check between your toes, under your toenails, remove your nail polish to look at the nail beds, look at the bottom of your feet. Avoid over exposing your feet to the sun. Feet are often overlooked when applying sunscreen, making them more at risk.
Other common cancers that can develop on your feet are basal cell carcinoma (most common) and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma can appear as a smooth and raised bump or even a wound that isn’t getting better. These are usually benign and can be treated easily. Squamous cell carcinoma has a more alarming appearance, hopefully meaning you seek a doctor faster. Seen on the tops of your feet, this can have a bleeding ulcer appearance, or be thicker, red, and scaly, and often seen in patches. It can spread, therefore making it more of a serious carcinoma. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, give our office a call.
At Howard County Foot and Ankle, we treat everything from warts and ingrown toenails to flatfeet and heel pain. Many people come to us for diabetic foot care or simply because they have foot pain or ankle pain and don’t know the cause of it. We handle emergencies such as fractures and infections as well. Dr. Bui performs a wide variety of surgeries and specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. You won’t find a better foot doctor than our highly skilled and highly qualified, Dr. Christina Bui! Call or email us to ask any questions you might have. We would love to be your go-to Podiatrist!