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Beware of Skin Cancer on Your Feet

  • Dr. Bruce Zappan
  • December 15, 2017

Yes, you can get skin cancer on your feet, even on the bottoms! Skin cancer is often a result of excess sun exposure, and some folks are more susceptible to sun damage than others. If you have fair skin, lighter hair and eyes and burn easily, you may be more vulnerable to developing skin lesions and cancer, but other factors may also be involved.

Two other factors that may predispose you to skin cancer are:

  • Immune system problems—When your immune system is compromised by viral infections such as HIV, or HPV (human papillomavirus), it makes it harder for your body to mount a good defence against malignant growths and to correct abnormal skin cells. Organ transplant surgery may also weaken your immune capabilities. A cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma that grows on the soles of the feet, the palms, and underneath the nails, is more likely to occur in immunosuppressed individuals.
  • Environmental contaminants—Exposure to chemicals that cause burns, and to pollutants such as power plant emissions, can damage your skin’s DNA, causing lesions and cancer no matter what your prevailing skin type.

Melanoma is frequently a fatal form of skin cancer that is difficult to detect since it can look like other skin abnormalities such as moles. And since it tends to grow inward rather than spreading across the skin, it can reach to blood vessels and lymph nodes and spread to other areas of the body.

Melanomas can also appear like plantar warts, ulcers, blisters, and ingrown toenails, so it’s wise to have abnormal growths checked out by your foot doctor for proper diagnosis. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Bruce B. Zappan, D.P.M., P.C., of Medical Arts Podiatry Associates in Philadelphia, PA provides high quality footcare through proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our office at 215-563-2560.