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Not So Fun In The Sun

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer found in the United States, with melanoma being the most dangerous form. But in your pursuit of having fun in the sun this summer, do you know what changes to spot to make sure your skin remains safe from head to toe? Check out these common signs of melanoma from A to Z....err E!

Asymmetry: Moles that are uniform in shape should give little cause for concern. However, a mole where one half is different from the other half could indicate melanoma.

Borders: Moles should have borders that are smooth and consistent. A lesion may be cancerous if you notice its borders being jagged and irregular.

Color: Always look for moles to be one solid color (typically brown or tan). Moles that are multi-colored or speckled are likely melanoma.

Diameter: Moles that are less than 6mm (1/4in)- the width of a pencil eraser- are usually harmless. However if they exceed 6mm, then you should suspect melanoma.

Elevation: Inspect if a lesion is flat or elevated. Lesions that are raised above the surface of the skin often appear in the occurrence of melanoma.

What the FOOT!?!: Have you heard of Hutchinson’s Sign? It is a linear mark of increased pigmentation indicating melanoma under the nail. It begins at the base of the nail and extends towards the tip of the nail. It is always a good to remove nail polish and examine nails to note any potential changes under your nails.

Other places to note melanoma of the foot: top of the foot, sole, and in between the toes.

If you suspect any changes in moles or lesions to your skin, report to your physician immediately! And remember, early detection is ALWAYS key, with any form of cancer. The sooner it can be diagnosed, the far better chance you have of recovery.

Putting your best FEET forward,

2 Responses


June 26, 2015

Hi Angela! If you are noticing that the “bruise” is growing outward, then it is likely that some bleeding (not a bruise) occurred under your nail when it was injured. The time period for nail growth from root to tip can often take as long as 6 months, so it sounds like your nail is progressing as expected. Have you noticed the line (going across your nail) growing outward, as well? Hope this helps!

angela hammond
angela hammond

June 25, 2015

I have a bruise on big toe and a line going across the toe so not sure what that is? I havent damages the toe. It doesn’t hurt. The nail looks dark on the inside when clipped. So I would like reassurance. It isn’t anything. Bad going on? The bruise appears to be growing out but it is taking quite along time. Had bruiae for a couple of months now.

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