Skin Cancer on Your Feet


Were you aware of the fact that you can get skin cancer on your feet? While skin cancer is often associated with sun exposure, there are other factors that can contribute to the likelihood of developing this potentially deadly disease, so even though your feet may not see much sun, they are still susceptible.

Causes of skin cancer

While excessive sun and UV light exposure are common causes of the DNA damage that results in skin cancer, other factors can also come into play. These include:

  • Heredity—People who have inherited fair skin, light hair, and blue eyes have a lower amount of melanin in the skin which can make sun exposure more toxic. Melanin is a pigment that absorbs harmful light rays, so having less of it makes skin damage more likely to occur.
  • Environmental concerns—Poisons in the environment such as car exhaust, and other chemical pollutants can damage your skin and cause mutations in the cells that lead to cancer.
  • Immune system deficiencies—Your body may have difficulty dealing with malignant cells due to problems with immune response caused by viral infections like HPV and HIV. Having an organ transplant and the required immunosuppressant medications can also limit your body’s ability to fend off cancerous growths.

One of the deadliest forms of skin cancer is melanoma, which can look a lot like plantar warts, ulcers, and ingrown toenails, so it is vitally important to have any skin or nail abnormalities on your feet checked by your foot doctor. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.