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Skin Lesions and Skin Cancer of the Foot Overview

Published May 18, 2015

Skin cancer can be a difficult topic of discussion and is often overlooked when it comes to the foot. Most patients with cancerous lesions or sores experience no pain, and lesions are often discovered as an incidental finding when being treated for something unrelated.

There are multiple causes that lead to cancerous lesions of the foot, from virus, exposure to chemicals, inherited traits, chronic inflammation, and excess sun exposure.

The most concerning skin cancers of the foot are:
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: A skin lesion commonly seen on the foot which is the least invasive, usually developing due to excessive sun exposure of the foot.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A skin lesion that resembles either a plantar wart, eczema, or some other common skin condition of the foot. The lesions typically do not spread and are confined to the skin. Patients relate a history of painless bleeding and cracking to the skin.
  • Malignant Melanoma: Is the most serious skin lesion that occurs in the foot. It is found on the skin and also underneath the nail. This particular cancer requires some type of surgical intervention. If not treated quickly, melanoma can spread through blood vessels and the lymphatic systems. This lesion commonly appears as either a brown to pink or red color. It often resembles a benign mole, blister, ingrown nail, plantar wart or even foreign body
Here are a few warning signs to be aware of when monitoring chronic skins lesions. The warning signs are the ABCDE's of skin lesions:
  • Asymmetry: If the lesion is divided in half, the sides don't match
  • Borders: Borders of the lesion are uneven or ragged
  • Color:  The lesion could have multiple pigmented colors and are unevenly distributed in the lesion
  • Diameter: The lesion is wider than a pencil eraser (greater than 6mm)
  • Elevation/Evolution: The lesion is raised off the skin surface, or it has been changing significantly over time.
At Progressive Foot Care, the doctors are very knowledgable and well experienced when dealing with skin lesions of the foot. If you have a suspicious lesion of the foot or any foot concerns, please call for an appointment today.
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