Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry - Podiatry Insights

Melanomas on the feet and legs

Most people wouldn’t really think of a melanoma on the feet and legs, but they do present there, especially if the skin has been exposed to the sun’s rays.

Suzanne and Lindsey have been trained to use a Dermatoscope in clinic as they see lots of feet and legs on a daily basis and are best are placed to observe, document and photograph anything unusual that may be seen in clinic. The results are recorded in medical notes, which can then be sent on to the GP for a further referral to dermatology for more investigations.

What is a Dermatoscope?

A Dermatascope is a hand held device that magnifies and illuminates any lesion on the skin that may need further investigations (see main image above).

What is a Melanoma?

Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes, it is less common than the other skin cancers but it is more dangerous because of its ability to spread to the other organs if not treated quickly.

Only 20- 30% of melanomas are found in existing moles but 70-80% arise on normal looking skin!

What is a Melanocyte?

Melanocytes are skin cells found in the upper layer of the skin, when the skin is exposed to UV radiation from the sun, that damage triggers the melanocytes to produce more melanin. So burning or tanning triggers changes or mutations within the melanocyte which then results in uncontrolled growth in the cells.

Darker skinned people have more `eumelanin`- which protects the skin, whereas lighter skinned people have more `pheomelanin`- this type of melanin does not have the ability to protect the skin and is more susceptible to sun damage, burning and skin cancer.

How to recognise a Melanoma

Melanomas are not so easy to spot initially, especially when they are located on the back and out of sight. The ABCDE checklist provided gives a short but comprehensive list of warning signs.

Melanomas are very curable when detected and treated early, once the melanoma has spread deeper into the skin it then becomes more difficult to treat and can have a fatal outcome.

There are four main types of melanoma on the skin.

Superficial spreading melanoma

This is the most common melanoma; it can arise from an existing mole or appear as a new lesion; it grows on the surface of the skin for some time before penetrating more deeply. It is most likely to appear on the torso in men, the legs in women and the upper back in both.


Lentigo maligna melanoma

usually present in older people and is typically present on sun-damaged skin on the face, ears, arms or upper torso. It is superficial initially before it too spreads deeper in the tissues. It may look flat and blotchy with uneven borders


Acral lentiginous melanoma

These are the melanomas that we as podiatrists may see more of as they are located under the nails or on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands. They can be commonly found in people of colour, especially of African origins. An example of this type is Bob Marley whose death was caused by a melanoma under his toe nail.


Nodular melanoma

These are the most aggressive melanomas; they grow deeper into the skin more rapidly than the others and are most frequently found on the torso. legs, arms and scalps in older men. Usually appearing as a blue- black bump on the skin.


What can you do for yourself?

References:
Skin Cancer Foundation, DermnetNZ and Primary Care Dermatology Society. Photo credits- PCDS and Servello skincare

The Foothub Whitby
3, Byland Road
Whitby
YO21 1JH

More Insights

Podiatrist in a Pandemic

Hello, I am Lindsey a 56-year-old podiatrist and this has been my life in the last couple of years during the pandemic...


Heel pain in children

Over the past few years, the most common problem we see in clinic, involving children, would most definitely be heel pain. This could be present when playing sport, or after participating in other forms of strenuous activity...


Achilles Tendinitis / Tendinosis/ Tendinopathy, which one do I have?

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscles to the back of the heel, it is considered to be strongest tendon in the body and its movement helps you step up on your toes, run and jump...


Covid Toes

`COVID- toes` is a symptom of contracting Covid-19, it can present in any age group, across all continents and in a full range of skin types. Although it tends to be more common in children and young adults...


Do You Have One leg longer Than The Other?

Uneven leg length is quite common, and often a few millimeters is not going to cause major problem, and probably will go unnoticed. However, for some even a small limb length difference can cause problems in the hips, back and neck...


School Shoes Should be Symmetrical But When Was The Last Time You Checked?

We all know children grow a lot over the school holidays and more often than not you need to buy new uniforms and new school shoes in August before they start in September...


Foot Problems Are Common in Netball and Basketball

In netball and basketball there is a tremendous amount of pressure that is put on the foot, ankle, knees and hips. This can occur at the highest level or even when playing socially...


Acute and Chronic pain in the feet... What's the difference?

Pain is pain… right? Sadly not, pain is a complicated subject but simply put, it can be separated into two categories; Acute and Chronic pain. There is one noticeable difference between the two and that is the amount of time that the pain has been around?


What is shockwave therapy and will it work for me?

Shockwave Therapy has become one of the most effective ways to treat chronic lower limb pain, t was originally developed to treat Kidney Stones (Lithotripsy), as an alternative treatment to surgery...


'Oh No', Heel Pain

This may sound like an odd title, but this is how I refer to the most common foot condition we see in clinic, which is Heel Pain. Did you realise there are over 40 causes of heel pain, the most common one that is known about is Plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the soft tissues on the bottom of the foot...


What is Practice Accreditation and why did we want to achieve it?

The Podiatry profession in the UK is subject to careful monitoring and regulation. These systems are in place to protect the public from sub-standard levels of care, and to ensure that practitioners always know to which standards they should be working to.


How to Reduce Your Injuries by Wearing the Right Trainers

There can be many reasons for this, but a common one we see at Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry is a lack of understanding on what makes one shoe better than another and not knowing when a shoe has passed its used by date and should be replaced.


Pressure plate gait analysis and 3D printed orthotics

Pressure gait analysis gives a detailed insight into the forces impacting on the foot when walking or running. This information allows us to identify areas of the foot that maybe under a higher pressure load which over time can cause pain, injury, fractures and pressure ulcers of the skin.


Shin Splints

At the Foot Hub Whitby, we treat a lot of patients with shin soreness, and it doesn’t matter if they’re a seasoned professional sports person or a weekend warrior.


Is a heel spur the cause of your foot pain?

Perhaps you have been told by a friend, a concerned family member, or a health professional that you have a heel spur but they can only be guessing!


Podosmart Wi-Fi Digitsoles

The insoles are a clever innovative piece of equipment that can quantify the movement of the body with different mobility disorders such as neurological, orthopaedic, age related or sporting injuries...


Marco the M6 MLS Robotic Laser

I have been using a laser in practice for 25 years now and have long realised the great outcomes that can be achieved by them, so after extensively researching the Class 4 MLS laser, which is quite unique to other class 4 lasers in that it doesn’t emit heat, I realised this was the laser I wanted to upgrade to...


Our top tips for preparing to run a marathon

Preparing for a marathon or a half marathon takes dedication and a lot of time, applying these simple tips can make the experience a more positive one...


Ingrowing toenails and how to get rid of them permanently

Many people think they have ingrowing toenails when in fact what they have are involuted (curved) or thickened nails...


Not just a dog - a friend, a confidant, a counsellor and a personal trainer!

Dogs have always been a large part of my life, I have never known a time without a dog from being a small child through to an adult, after having my own children and working full time...


How do we sterilise the instruments we use in clinic

Infection control is something Podiatrists alongside all the medical profession take very seriously. Reducing the transmission of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and fungal infections...


How 'muscle memory' helped my recovery from shoulder surgery

Is muscle memory a thing? Yes, it is! Not that we have mini brains in our muscles as the brain is definitely located in the head! But there is no doubt that our muscles remember movement...


What Is Swift and Why Do We Use It to Treat Verrucae?

Verrucae are caused by infection in the skin from the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They are often harmless and can disappear on their own, but sometimes...


What you wouldn’t expect to see at the end of a Marathon

(from Podiatrists who were at the finish line)


Fascial manipulation of the lower limb. (Stecco Method®)

Fascial is a band or sheet of three-dimensional connective tissue, primarily made of collagen it surrounds every tissue, muscle, tendon, nerves, blood vessels and organs of the body...


5 top tips to prepare your feet for winter

Winter time can be quite harsh on the feet, they go from a warm centrally heated houses to artic conditions outside, which takes...


Plantar Fasciitis

This is the most common heel pain complaint we see in clinic. It is an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia caused...


Verrucae and Warts

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the cause of warts and verrucae, they can appear anywhere on the skin but are mostly seen...


Melanomas on the feet and legs

Most people wouldn’t really think of a melanoma on the feet and legs, but they do present there...


Core stability and Podiatry

Core Stability is a medical description establishing the ability of a person to control the movement...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to the Lindsey Ebbs Podiatry monthly email newsletter.