The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) warns that the feet are not only susceptible to skin cancer, but are especially prone to melanoma, the most potentially deadly of skin malignancies.
Skin cancer on the feet is particularly dangerous because it can easily remain undetected, appearing as a mole or freckle. Truth is — most people don’t examine their feet as closely as they do their hands and faces.
In addition to making sure that you apply sunscreen to your feet as well as other parts of your body, we suggest that you take the following precautions:
- Check your feet and toes regularly for symptoms such as an abnormal-looking mole or freckle anywhere on the foot – even under toenails and on your soles.
- Be particularly suspicious of moles or freckles that alter their appearance, enlarging or changing shape. Don’t spend time worrying about possible cancer — get the suspicious lesion checked by your podiatrist as soon as possible.
- Have regular podiatric check-ups so that your doctor can keep track of any changes on the skin of your feet, on and under your toenails, and between your toes. Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities.
Podiatrists are uniquely trained as lower extremity specialists to recognize and treat abnormal conditions on the skin of the lower legs and feet and there is no substitute for a professional podiatric exam.