By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
May 23, 2018
Category: Skin Cancer
Tags: Skin Cancer  

This weekend marks the official start of summer and we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care know that many of our patients will be heading off to the Jersey shore to kick off the season. It’s a good time for us to recognize Skin Cancer Awareness Month and ensure that you know how to have fun in the sun and keep the skin on your feet safe at the same time. Follow the do’s and don’ts below for maximum protection.

Don’t: get a “base tan” using indoor tanning machines. People who use indoor tanning beds are 74% more likely to get melanoma than those who don’t. Indoor tanning also increases the risk of other forms of skin cancer.

Do: use a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply every two hours and immediately after swimming.

Don’t: forget to apply sunscreen to your feet even if you are not at the beach or pool but you are wearing open shoes and spending the day outside.

Do: be extra careful if you are fair-skinned. People with light skin have an increased risk of skin cancer and even one bad sunburn raises your risk of skin cancer in the future.

Don’t: skip your feet when conducting a monthly skin check for suspicious looking moles and lesions. Check the top and bottom of your feet as well as between your toes. Too often skin cancer on the feet is not caught until it is at an advanced stage because people don’t think to check there.

Do: know the signs of a potentially malignant mole or spot:

                Asymmetrical—if you drew a line down the center of mole both sides would not look the same

                Border—irregular, notched or scalloped borders on a lesion

                Color—moles that are multi-colored and mottled in appearance

                Diameter—moles that are bigger than the width of a pencil eraser

                Evolving—any changes, such as a mole bleeding, crusting over or itchy as well as anything

                different in the appearance of the lesion (size, color, shape, etc.) is cause for concern.

If you have noticed anything unusual about the skin on your feet or have questions about skin cancer, contact our New Jersey offices in Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can take a look and determine if further testing is needed.