Don’t Overlook Skin Cancer on Feet and Ankles

Heading for the beach or pool in Montgomery or Chester County this summer? Don’t forget to carry your sunscreen with you – and don’t neglect your feet and ankles!

The harmful rays of the sun are the primary cause of dangerous cancers appearing on areas of the body exposed to the sun. However, the podiatrists at Your Next Step know that skin cancers of the feet can also be related to chemical exposure, viruses, chronic irritation or inflammation.

Foot Cancer Types

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: These common cancers are limited to the skin in early stages, and don’t spread unless far advanced. They may be itchy but are usually painless. Squamous cell cancer may look like a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer or other common conditions.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Because they usually appear on skin exposed to the sun, these cancers are not often seen on the feet. They are one of the least aggressive cancers and rarely spread beyond skin level. On feet and ankles they resemble non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers.

Malignant Melanoma: As one of the deadliest skin cancers, early detection is critical in patient survival. A melanoma grows and goes deeper into the skin, where it may spread to other parts of the body through blood vessels and the lymphatic system. Melanomas are found on the skin, even the soles, of the feet and even beneath the toenails. They look like ingrown nails, bruises, plantar warts, benign moles, ulcers, blood blisters or foreign bodies.

Visit Us for a Comprehensive Foot Examination

During routine medical exams, the skin of the feet is often overlooked. And because these cancers may appear as other non-cancerous problems, it’s best to have a professional foot doctor examine your feet regularly for any abnormalities.

Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen are uniquely trained to detect and treat skin cancers of the feet and ankles. We can recognize the difference between a benign foot irregularity and a more serious skin cancer, and will look for a skin lesion that has become malignant.

Take Steps Now to Prevent Skin Cancer

  • Limit sun exposure time, especially between 10a.m. and 4p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, and use plenty of it – one ounce for each application. Read instructions carefully, especially when applying on children.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally to feet and ankles too!
  • Examine your feet regularly, and your child’s also. Don’t forget the soles and between the toes.

Early detection is best, so contact us at 610-642-8837 for an appointment at our Ardmore or Paoli, PA offices and feel free to browse our website. Our board certified or board qualified foot doctors are experts at detecting skin cancer on the feet as part of a thorough foot and ankle exam.

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