Mole or Melanoma?
As Cindy Crawford, Enrique Iglesias and Julia Roberts so prominently demonstrate, a mole is an area of the skin with an abundance of pigment producing cells—melanocytes. These can occur anywhere on the body, even on your feet! However, it is important not to confuse these type of moles with the most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma. So before you go out under the Jacksonville summer sun, consider this advice from Dr. Vimal Reddy. Melanoma occurs when the same pigment producing cells found in moles start to grow and multiply without control. Skin cancer usually occurs on body parts exposed most to the sun: backs, shoulders and legs. Another area of concern and important to examine are our feet. Early detection of melanoma is critical for successful treatment, so when examining moles on your body don’t forget your feet. Who is at risk?
- Individuals with fair skin
- Individuals with numerous moles
- People who spend a lot of time in the sun
The Skin Cancer Foundation has created a list of preventionguidelines. Here are a few extra tips Dr. Reddy suggestsfor your feet:
- When applying sunscreen, be sure to include the tops of your feet and toes
- Inspect your feet for moles that are changing in shape, size, or color
- Don’t forget to check for moles in between your toes!
When it comes to your skin you should consult with your primary care physician or dermatologist for most questions about any of your moles. But as a podiatrist, Dr. Reddy is well trained to assess changes to the skin occurring on the feet. Looking over the skin for changes is part of every foot examination at the First Coast Foot and Ankle Clinic. Please feel free to consult with Dr. Reddy for your questions about melanoma and other skin cancers.