Monday, 15 October 2018

Skin Cancer and feet- What to look out for

I have talked befor about dermatology and feet but with the summer now passed I thought I would be a bit more specific and talk about skin cancer and feet. Here in Spain feet particually the tops of feet get a lot of exposure to the sun. But intrestingly with feet it is not always about sun exposure, skin cancers on the soles of feet are not uncommon. Skin cancers of the feet, however, are more often related to viruses, exposure tochemicals, chronic inflammation or irritation, or inherited traits. Unfortunately, the skin of the feet is often overlooked during routine medical examinations, and for this reason, it important that the feet are checked regularly for abnormalities that might indicate evolving skin cancer. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list but just some of the common ones. Squamous cell carcinoma, is the most common form of cancer on the skin of the feet. Most types of early squamous cell carcinoma are confined to the skin and do not spread. However, when advanced, they can become more aggressive and spread throughout the body. This form of cancer often begins as a small scaly bump which may appear inflamed. Sometimes there is a history of recurrent cracking or bleeding. Occasionally it begins as a hard projecting callus-like lesion. Though squamous cell cancer is painless, it may be itchy. Squamous cell cancer may resemble a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer, or other common skin conditions
of the foot.

Basal cell carcinoma frequently is seen on sun-exposed skin surfaces. This form of skin cancer is one of the least aggressive cancers in the body. It will cause local damage but rarely spreads beyond the skin. Basal cell cancers may appear as pearly white bumps or patches that may ooze or crust and look like an open sore. On the skin of the lower legs and feet, basal cell cancers often resemble non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers.Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers. This type of skin cancer must be detected very early to ensure patient survival. Melanomas may occur on the skin of the feet and on occasion beneath a toenail where they are sometimes mistaken for ingrown toe nails.. They are found both on the soles and on the top of the feet. As a melanoma grows and extends deeper into the skin, it becomes more serious and may spread through the body through the lymphatics and blood vessels. A good guide to detecting Melonomas anywhere on the body is ABCD. If you notice a mole, bump, or patch on the skin that meets any of the following criteria you need to seek advice immidiatly.

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

One of the many good reasons to visit a podiatrist.
Philip Mann Podiatrist/Chiropodist