Is That Freckle Or Mole Normal
We all fear the thought of malignant melanoma yet we all have moles or freckles and sometimes they are hard to know if they are normal or not. Even worse, we have a tendency to think that because our feet and nails arent usually exposed to the sun, the chances of a malignant melanoma on those areas is rare. And if we are honest with ourselves, how many of us really examine the bottom of the feet and between our toes and our nails for any type of pigmented skin changes?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but malignant melanoma on the feet and nails does occur and because it goes unnoticed for a prolonged time, can sometimes be much more invasive by the time it is diagnosed. So when should you be concerned?
There are some things you can look for to raise your suspicion of a possible malignant melanoma. These apply to malignant melanomas everywhere but again, with feet, sometimes they are not examined closely enough over time to know if the lesion is the same as before or if something is changing.
A asymmetry melanoma is often not symmetrical, meaning if you divided it in half, any which direction, it would not be the same as the other side.
B border there is not a clear edge or outline to the lesion and it appears to blur into the surrounding skin
D diameter the size of a pigmented lesion that is 6 mm or greater is cause for concern, especially if this size is more newly expanding. 6 mm is approximately the size of the eraser on a pencil.
What Can You Do For Yourself
- Check yourself and notice any changes. There is an app that is used on your phone where you can photograph your body regularly and the app will tell you if there are any changes in the skin:
- Look out for the `ugly duckling` this is where most normal moles on the body resemble one another, whilst melanomas stand out like an ugly duckling!
- If in doubt, check it out! If something doesnt look right then consult your GP or a Dermatascope trained HealthCare professional
References:Skin Cancer Foundation, DermnetNZ and Primary Care Dermatology Society. Photo credits- PCDS and Servello skincare
Can Melanoma Be Prevented
Most childhood types of melanoma can’t be prevented because they are due to a mutation .
The most important way to prevent melanoma from developing later in life is to limit kids’ and teens’ sun exposure.
Keep kids younger than 6 months out of the sun entirely, because their skin is so sensitive. If any skin must be exposed to the sun, use a small amount of sunscreen on those parts, such as the face and hands.
Kids 6 months and older should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day.
Other ways to help prevent skin cancer include:
- avoiding the strongest sun of the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- encouraging kids to wear wide-brimmed hats and long, loose cotton clothing, especially if they tend to burn easily
- making sure teens understand the dangers of tanning salons
- being a good role model yourself
Not all skin cancer is melanoma, but every case of melanoma is serious. Do what you can to lower your kids’ risk and help them make smart choices about sun safety.
You can find more information online at:
Also Check: Orthopedic Center University Of Utah
What Are The Symptoms Of Foot Melanoma
On the skin, melanoma looks like moles that continue to evolve in shape, size, and color. Such moles also have uneven borders and asymmetrical sides. While melanomas are often brown in color, they can sometimes be red, tan, or white. Blue or black moles are also possible. Rather than being one solid color like most moles, melanomas tend to have a combination of colors.
Melanoma can also occur in your toenails. This is most common in the big toes of your feet. The cancerous cells underneath the nails can look like purple, brown, or black bruises. These also tend to look like dark streaks that grow vertically in the nail. Unlike nail injuries where the nail eventually grows out, these streaks dont go away if theyre melanoma. You may also experience nail brittleness, as well as nails that crack easily. Learn more about skin cancer symptoms here.
Check Every Part Of Your Feet For Signs Of Melanoma
Pay close attention to places on your feet that have been injured. Even if the injury was years ago, examine the area carefully.
Research has shown that a foot injury may increase your risk of developing melanoma. Bob Marley, a legendary reggae artist, developed melanoma on his foot. Its believed that the melanoma began where he had injured his foot while playing soccer. He later died of melanoma.
Read Also: Austin Orthopedics And Sports Medicine
Can Melanoma Get Worse If It Isnt Treated
When foot melanoma is diagnosed during its early stages, the cancer is easier to treat. In stage 0, the melanoma is in the top layer of your skin only . Stages 1 and 2 mean that the spot is thicker and has possibly broken the skin. However, the cancer hasnt spread yet.
Complications can arise in the final stages of melanoma in the foot. In stage 3, melanoma spreads to your lymph nodes or to another spot either on or near your foot. Stage 4 the most serious form of melanoma means that the cancer has spread to another part of your body or an internal organ. These two stages are considered the most life-threatening.
How Is Foot Melanoma Diagnosed
If you detect an unusual spot on your foot, its time to see a dermatologist. This type of skin specialist will first examine the mole. In some cases, theyll be able to tell its cancerous right away. Your dermatologist will take note of the color, size, and shape of the mole. Theyll ask you about the history of the mole and how its changed since you first noticed it.
A biopsy will help properly diagnose the spot on your foot. This requires scraping off a small part of the mole to send to the lab for evaluation.
Read Also: How To Wrap An Ankle Sprain
Answer: New Mole On The Foot
To be safe, you should be carefully evaluated by aboard certified dermatologist. Please use the ABCDE’s as your guide forwhen to be concerned about moles: A for Asymmetry B forIrregular Borders C forBlack or uneven Colors D for diameter greater than a pencil eraser and Efor a growth that is Evolving or changing. If necessary, it is anextremely simple five minute procedure for a dermatologist to remove the moleusing either a “punch” or a “shave” biopsy which typicallyleaves a minimal scar. The mole can then be checked microscopically. Even moles on the sole of the foot can turn cancerous. You can follow the video link below to learn more about identifying thechanges in moles that are suspicious for skin cancer.
What Is Nail Melanoma 21
Melanoma on the extremities nails, hands and feet is the rarest subtype of the skin cancer, accounting for less than 5% of all melanomas, said Dr. Vishal Patel, assistant professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, and director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, D.C.
But it makes up about a third of all the melanomas that Black patients, Indians, Asians and other people with darker skin develop, which is a ten-fold increase compared to the general population, he noted.
This type of cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma tends to be more aggressive than other melanomas. Plus, many people just dont check underneath their feet for any suspicious spots, potentially leading to a late diagnosis.
Read Also: How To Wrap An Ankle
Dermoscopy And Its Potential In Assessing Nail Pigmentation
In addition to the application of the dermatoscope in assessing pigmented plantar lesions, its utility in assessing nail pigmentation has been discussed . A patient presenting with longitudinal melanonychia always presents a diagnostic challenge to Podiatrists due to its various causes such as ethnicity, drugs, trauma and occasionally melanoma. Biopsy of such lesions has the potential to cause permanent scarring to the nail unit. Ronger et al discussed the role of the dermatoscope in nail pigmentation and suggest it as a tool to decide if a nail biopsy should be performed. Subsequent publications have explored this concept further. Braun and colleagues describe the dermatoscopic features of the different causes of melanonychia and have proposed an algorithm. In a similar manner Jellinek suggests it has a role in assessing nails prior to biopsy and again proposes an algorithm. Neither of these have been formally tested to identify their true validity but with time one would expect further development in this area as experience increases.
Uneven Weight Distribution From Diabetes
Charcot foot is a rare condition characterized by a large, bony lump that forms on the bottom of the foot. It can develop as a serious complication of diabetes caused by chronic inflammation. A Charcot foot causes pain and swelling at the bottom of the foot and increases your risk of developing diabetic ulcers.
Treatment for a Charcot foot that develops from uneven weight distribution of the feet involves putting the affected foot in a cast and avoiding weight-bearing activities on that foot for several months. During this time, you will have to use crutches or a wheelchair to move around.
Gradual progression to normal weight-bearing with prescription footwear or a CROW will begin when your symptoms decrease. In cases that do not improve, surgery may be performed to remove bone spurs , increase the length of the Achilles tendon to improve the alignment of the foot and ankle, and fuse bones of the foot together for better stability.
Read Also: Arthritis In Foot And Ankle
Why Do Some People Get Bunions And Others Dont
Bunions can form for several reasons and are often, though not always, hereditary ! Other causes of bunions aside from genetics are:
Structural abnormalities such asmissing bones, flattened arches, or a short first metatarsal. If you have one leg longer than the other and an uneven gait, you may be prone to develop bunions.
Pregnancy can result in the development of bunions. Relaxin, the hormone that helps widen the pelvis during pregnancy, can also soften the ligaments in the foot. This can cause the bones in the feet to spread out and arches to fall.
Wearing high heels on a regular basis. Balancing and walking with high heels can tighten calf muscles and force load-bearing to the front of the foot. Gradually the arch can collapse. Many high heels have a narrow, pointed toe that reshapes the foot into an unnatural position.
What Is Accessory Navicular Syndrome
If you have a bump on the inner side of the foot, just above the arch, you may have what is known as an accessory navicular. Its an extra bone or sometimes a piece of cartilage. This condition is congenital. As the name suggests, its not part of our standard skeletal equipment.
The extra bone often remains dormant and causes no problems. But the accessory navicular is incorporated within the posterior tibial tendon, and it can sometimes interfere with the function of that tendon.
You May Like: Treatment For Torn Tendon In Foot
Whats The Treatment For Haglunds Deformity
Nonsurgical treatment includes wearing open-back shoes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen, and icing. If these home treatments dont work, ultrasound treatments, orthotics, and immobilizing boots may help. Your podiatrist can perform surgical excision of the excess bone in extreme cases.
Also Check: Best Shoes After Foot Surgery
What To Look For:
Remember the ABCDEs of melanoma. They apply to spots on the palms and soles, too. Dont forget to look for moles between the toes.
A foot injury may increase your risk of developing melanoma, so pay close attention to places on your feet that have been injured, even if it happened years ago, the American Academy of Dermatology advised.
Report any changes, or a blister or any lesion thats not healing anywhere on your body to your doctor.
Think of you and your dermatologist as a team. Actively scan your body between appointments and take pictures of your moles to keep track of changes and show to your physician. Bring any spots that concern you to your doctors attention. Working together can boost the chances of catching melanoma in its earliest stages
Recommended Reading: Orthopedic Doctors Port St Lucie Fl
Getting A Mole Removed Off The Bottom Of Your Foot How Dangerous Is This
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
HealthTap doctors are based in the U.S., board certified, and available by text or video.
Healthskin Cancer Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore
Paschal, the University of Kentucky student, underwent three surgeries to remove the cancer from his foot. Doctors used a skin graft from his calf to repair the missing tissue in his sole. A biopsy of the lymph nodes in his groin revealed a trace amount of cancer cells, so Paschal began immunotherapy treatment.
He returned to playing football in November, though he had to learn how to run on his right foot again. It has healed, but parts of it feel numb, Paschal said. He gets skin checks, an ultrasound and a PET scan every three months.
I feel like is whats keeping everything together, its keeping me positive, he said.
Whatever you see on your skin that looks irregular, you should get that checked, Paschal said, adding that he hopes to raise awareness of skin cancer by sharing his story.
Also Check: Achilles Foot And Ankle Center
What Causes Melanoma And How Can You Recognize It
Typically, skin cancer is associated with harmful ultraviolet light, especially when it comes from the sun. Studies consistently show that intense, irregular exposure to sunlight leads to an increased risk of melanoma. There are other causes as well, like chronic inflammation, exposure to carcinogenic materials, chronic ulcers and long-standing warts, and even simply inherited traits.
The initial sign of this condition is typically a change in shape, color, feel, or size of an existing mole. Additionally, unusual blemishes, lumps, markings, or sores on the surface of the skin are always worth investigating. In looking at melanoma, its important to note that most people have moles on their skin, and a majority of these are harmless. That said, these marks should still be monitored.
When observing a mole, it should raise a red flag if you note a blue-black area. Other mole traits to be aware of can be linked to the acronym ABCDE and include:
- Asymmetry Half of the mole or lesion is not a mirror image of the other half.
- Border Moles that have blurred, ragged, or irregular borders are cause for concern.
- Color Multiple colors within the same mole is a potential sign of melanoma.
- Diameter When the diameter of a mole is greater than the size of a pencil-tip eraser , have it checked out.
- Evolving A mole that changes color, shape, or size should definitely be investigated.
Melanoma And The Foot
Malignant melanoma is the most common primary, malignant tumour of the foot accounting for between 315% of all cutaneous melanoma . Whereas improvements have been seen in the prognosis for some patients with melanoma, pedal lesions are still a major concern. The three most common types occurring on the foot are the superficial spreading ,1), nodular and acral lentiginous melanoma .2). ALM is particularly prevalent on the foot as it has a predilection for the soles and nail unit . In addition, it is a sub-type of melanoma that affects all skin types . Day identified MM on the foot as an independent risk factor for disease recurrence. This was examined further by Hsueh and colleagues who reviewed 652 cases of cutaneous melanoma and analysed data comparing anatomical location to survival rates. Controlling for other variables including tumour thickness, their results confirmed that primary melanoma on the foot had a 5 year survival rate of 77% compared with 94% and 95% for lesions on the calf and thigh respectively. They concluded that the prognosis deteriorated the further the lesion was from the trunk.
Acral lentiginous melanoma.
Don’t Miss: Panorama Orthopedics And Spine Center
What Does Foot Melanoma Look Like Skin Cancer Can Hide As Spot On Sole
As a young, healthy African American, Joshua Paschal didnt think he could get melanoma. The deadliest form of skin cancer is rare among African-Americans, so he wasnt worried when a tiny dark spot appeared on the sole of his right foot early last year.
It was as small as a dot that you would do with a pen, Paschal, 20, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, told TODAY.
I didnt care too much about it because I thought it was a blood blister. I kept playing football and working out and it would grow in small increments.
Thinking it could be a plantar wart, the football player first consulted a podiatrist. But he was quickly sent to a dermatologist for a biopsy. The diagnosis: melanoma.
Everyone Needs To Check Their Feet For Signs Of Melanoma
People of all races and colors get melanoma on their feet. In fact, about the same number of African Americans and Caucasians develop melanoma on a foot.1 For people of African or Asian ethnicity, the feet and hands are the most common places for melanoma to appear.2
Everyone needs to check their feet for signs of melanoma
About the same number of African Americans and Caucasians develop melanoma on a foot.
Don’t Miss: Pain On Bottom Outside Of Foot