Foot melanoma: fatal and overlooked

Thanks for keeping up with us during Melanoma Month! It’s been a pleasure to share how much melanoma matters to me and how much it should matter to you, too. Today, we’re going to focus on melanoma on a part of the body that most people often forget about – your feet!

When my practice conducts full body skin exams, we look in-depth and especially between the feet… My patients are often surprised that we check there! What most people don’t know that foot melanoma can be particularly aggressive, even more so than on other parts of your body.

In recent research carried out, foot melanoma was found to require specific management due to the fact that they have poor survival rates. While less common in darker-skinned people, melanoma can appear on the soles of the feet and toenails, so be sure to check your soles regularly.

Foot melanoma is slightly different from other melanomas due to the fact that is more often related to viruses, exposure to chemicals, chronic inflammation or irritation, or inherited traits rather than sun exposure. However, this doesn’t mean you should neglect applying sunscreen to your feet and ankles – try to be as vigilant as possible with all exposed skin areas in the sun.

Thus, be careful and make sure you know your ABCDE’s of melanoma, get a full skin exam with a dermatologist every year and be sure to look out for any abnormalities on your skin. Feet are the most neglected area for examination, but I’m extremely vigilant with my patients. Make sure you are, too!

Follow Us On Twitter!