How should I examine my feet for signs of melanoma?

James P. Ioli, DPM
Podiatric Medicine
Early detection is essential to successful treatment of melanoma, so take the time to regularly examine your feet -- including the tops, soles, under toenails, and in between toes. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), recommends doing so every time you trim your toenails. When checking out your feet, look for any mole, freckle, or spot that may have changed over the course of the month or meets the guidelines for identifying melanoma. If you wear nail polish consistently, be sure to take it off periodically so you can see underneath the nail, where discoloration of any size or shape is cause for concern -- especially if you've noticed it hasn't grown out with the nail. Melanomas on the feet are commonly mistaken for -- and even misdiagnosed as -- nail fungus, ulcers, or hematomas. Recognizing them may not be easy, so talk with a foot specialist or dermatologist about any spot that concerns you.

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