If your summer plans include a vacation at Silver Lake Sand Dunes or just hanging out around the pool, make sure you have plenty of sunscreen – and don’t forget to apply to feet and ankles too.
Your feet are exposed to the harmful rays of the sun which are the primary cause of dangerous skin cancers. But viruses, chemical exposure, chronic inflammation and irritation can also cause skin cancer of the feet.
Types of Foot Cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma: These cancers are not often seen on feet because they usually appear on skin with excessive exposure to the sun. They rarely go beneath skin level and are one of the least aggressive cancers. They may appear as non-cancerous ulcers or tumors on the feet and ankles.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A common cancer, these growths usually don’t spread in early stages and are limited to skin depth. They are usually painless but itchy and can resemble a fungal infection, ulcer, plantar wart or eczema.
Malignant Melanoma: This is one of the deadliest skin cancers and early detection is essential to patient survival. Instead of remaining on the skin, as they grow, melanomas can enter blood vessels and the lymphatic system and then spread throughout the body. The patches have varied appearances and can look like bruises, plantar warts, ulcers, blood blisters, ingrown nails or benign moles. Melanomas are commonly found on the top and bottom of the feet and even beneath toenails.
Prevention is Key
- Limit your exposure to the sun especially between 10:00am and 4:00pm
- Apply sunscreen liberally – at least one ounce per application. Don’t forget your feet and ankles too!
- Use sunscreen of at least 15 SPF and read instructions carefully, especially when using on children.
- Get in the habit of examining your feet regularly, including the soles and between the toes. Keep an eye on your child’s feet also.
A Good Foot Examination Should Include Skin Cancer Screening Too
Regular foot inspections, including a skin cancer check, are recommended by Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, board certified podiatrist. It’s best to have a professional examine your feet because often these cancers look like other benign foot conditions. We have the expertise to detect any cancerous growths and will immediately create an effective treatment plan.
Early detection is critical to a successful treatment outcome. Call Dr. Alexopoulos at 773-561-8100 to schedule an appointment at our Chicago office. Remember, skin cancer only gets worse so call or use our website to contact us and get help for any foot and ankle issues right away.