Since skin cancer is often associated with excessive sun exposure, many people do not realize that they need to be vigilant to the potential for skin cancer to affect their feet. Skin cancers can be caused by factors other than sun exposure, including things like chemical exposures that can adversely affect the DNA. People who suffer with immune system deficiencies caused by HIV infection or organ transplant complications may also be more susceptible. A genetic mutation that decreases the amount of the pigment melanin in the skin can increase UV light penetration and cause cumulative skin cell damage, sometimes resulting in cancerous lesions.
The signs of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer:
Melanoma is a particularly scary form of skin cancer that can affect the feet because it often resembles other skin abnormalities including moles and warts, and can even develop underneath the nails or on the soles of the feet. Instead of spreading across the surface of the skin, these tumors dig into your body and can spread throughout your body via the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
You can decrease the chances of developing skin cancer by protecting your skin, including your feet, with an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen when exposed outdoors during peak daylight hours of 10-4.
These malignant tumors can also masquerade as ulcers, blood blisters, splinters, and ingrown toenails, so it is very important to have any suspicious items brought to the attention of your foot doctor. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).