Skin cancer can be found anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities of your body. When on the feet, they have several features in common, most of which are painless. There is frequently a history of recurrent bleeding, ulceration, or cracking. Because May 3rd is known as Melanoma Monday, today Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County is sharing what you need to know about skin cancer and your feet.

We often consider the sun’s harmful rays as the #1 cause of skin cancer as the condition usually found on parts of the body exposed to the sun. But skin cancers of the feet are often related to chronic inflammation or irritation, exposure to chemicals, inherited traits, or viruses.

The skin of the feet is unfortunately often overlooked during routine medical exams, and for this reason, it essential the feet are checked regularly for irregularities that might indicate developing skin cancer.

Some of the most commonly seen cancers of the feet are:

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common form of cancer found on the skin of the feet. Most cases of early squamous cell carcinoma are limited to the skin and don’t spread. But if they advance, they can become spread throughout the rest of the body. This type of cancer often starts as a small scaly bump that looks inflamed and cracks or bleeds repeatedly.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma develops typically on skin surfaces exposed to the sun. This form of skin cancer is one of the least hard-hitting cancers in the body that causes local damage but rarely spreads beyond the skin. These cancers might look like pearly white bumps that ooze or crust and appear as an open sore.

Malignant Melanoma: Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers, and non-surgical treatments rarely succeed. This kind of skin cancer has to be detected relatively early to guarantee survival. This type of melanoma typically begins as a small black-brown bump or spot, but approximately one-third of the cases look red or pink. They may look like blood blisters, ingrown nails, benign moles, ulcers caused by poor circulation, foreign bodies, bruises, or plantar warts.

ABCDs of Melanoma

If you notice a bump, patch, or mole on the skin that meets any of the following, see a podiatrist immediately:

Asymmetry: If the sides don’t match because the lesion divides in half

Borders: Borders look ragged or uneven

Color: There may be more than one color with an uneven distribution

Diameter: The lesion is wider than a pencil eraser.

So always be sure to put sunscreen on your feet, and if you see something that you think might be skin cancer – don’t hesitate – contact the office of Dr. Timothy Barry of Family Foot & Ankle Care of Jasper in Dubois County at (812) 481-7200 immediately to schedule a consultation.