Ways to Prevent Melanoma

Now that spring is here, and summer is just around the corner many people will get out their sandals and shorts, and enjoy the sunshine.  Regardless of skin tone, caution should be taken with sun exposure.  Despite popular belief, melanoma can be caused from sources other than sun exposure, and can be more deadly in those with darker skin tones.  The most common site of melanoma in African Americans is on the foot.  Melanoma on the foot is typically caused by viruses, chemical exposure, chronic inflammation, or inherited traits.  Melanoma on the foot is rarely caused by sun exposure.  All types of melanoma can be deadly, but usually respond well to early diagnosis and treatment.

Prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma is key to preventing adverse outcomes, such as metastasis.  Most melanomas are painless, but may present with cracking, bleeding, or ulceration.  Melanoma may occur on the soles of the foot, under the toenails, or on the top of the foot.  Melanoma usually begins as a dark brown or black spot or bump.  A Podiatrist should evaluate any new or changing moles or bumps on the foot.  There are four features to look at when evaluating a mole or bump on the skin.  The four features are asymmetry, borders, color, and diameter.  Melanoma will typically present with an asymmetrical lesion with uneven borders.  Melanoma also presents with uneven coloring, and a diameter greater than 6 mm.

If you notice a suspicious mole or bump on the foot, or even some changes in the pigment of the skin, then an evaluation by your Podiatrist may be warranted.  A biopsy can be performed to determine if the lesion is cancerous.  Early treatment provides the best outcomes.  To help prevent melanoma on any part of your body remember to wear sunscreen, limit time in the sun, limit exposure to chemicals, and watch for any new moles or bumps. Lastly, do not forget to look at the bottom of the foot because the sole of the foot is a very common place for melanoma to hide!

Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery in Gahanna. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

If you would like to be seen by our podiatrists in Dublin, Ohio near Tuttle Crossing, call 614-859-3338 (FEET) for an appointment.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia