May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
If you’re like most people, you may not think about your feet when you hear “skin cancer.” At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we want our patients to know that the skin on your feet is every bit as vulnerable to the damaging rays of the sun as the rest of your body. Below are some tips to help you prevent this cancer which continues to affect more than 5 million people each year.
Practice regular self-exams—include your feet when you check your body for moles or freckles that appear suspicious. Many times skin cancers on the feet are not found until they are in an advanced stage because they develop on the sole of the foot or between the toes—places where patients tend not to look.
Know the warning signs—look for new spots on the skin or changes to existing ones, including bleeding or crusting, irregular borders, mottled or multi-colored, scaling or enlargement. If you find anything suspicious on your foot, make an appointment at our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office so that our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, can examine the spot and determine if further testing is needed.
Try to stay in the shade as much as possible during the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Never use UV tanning beds.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. Apply about a half hour before going out. This is important even for non-beach or pool days if you will be wearing sandals, flip-flops or other open shoes and plan to be outside for an extended period of time shopping, site seeing or running errands.
Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming, when sweating excessively or every two hours—whichever comes first.
Don’t take a “wait and see” approach to unusual skin changes of any kind. Contact us for an appointment as soon as you notice anything unusual.