Melanoma of the Foot

Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that can affect people of all ages.  Exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds can increase your risk of developing melanoma. However, melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, even on less sun-exposed areas such as the soles of your feet.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Change in an existing mole

  • Development of a new pigmentation that grows over time  – predominately brown, black or blue in color and in some cases red

 

To help identify characteristics of unusual moles or spots on the body use the mnemonic ABCDE:

  • Asymmetry – Melanoma is asymmetric

  • Border – Melanoma is will have an irregular border or edge that is typically ragged

  • Color – Melanoma is typically a mix or colors rather than one solid color

  • Diameter – Melanoma grows in diameter where benign moles remain the same size. A mole larger than 5mm, the size of a pencil eraser should be seen by a physician

  • Evolving over time – change in color, size, shape or symptoms (itching tenderness or bleeding)

 

Diagnosing Melanoma

To accurately diagnose melanoma a biopsy should be taken and analyzed by a pathologist

  • Punch biopsy – a tool with a circular blade is pressed into the skin around the suspicious mole or pigmented area to remove a round piece of skin

  • Excisional biopsy – the entire mole or pigmented area is removed

  • Incisional biopsy – only parts of the irregular mole or pigmented area is taken for analysis

 

Prevention

  • Use adequate sunscreen on areas of the body not covered by clothes or shoes

  • Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses

  • Wear water shoes that provide protection

  • Inspect your feet daily

  • Remove nail polish to inspect the toenails

 

Early detection of malignant melanoma is key. If you notice any changes in size of a mole on your foot or new pigmentations/discolorations come see us at Foot& Ankle Doctors, Inc.

 

Dr. Nejad

Avoid Overuse Injuries This Spring

Spring is around the corner and many of us are ready to get back into shape and hit the pavement with the first spring thaw.  Many of us haven’t hit the gym for months and it’s important to get back into the routine of working out slowly to prevent overuse injuries.


Overuse injuries occur over time with repetitive microtrauma to tendons, bones and joints. Common overuse injuries in the lower extremities include runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendinitis and shin splints.


Causes of overuse injuries include

  • Training errors – over training or increasing acceleration, intensity, duration or frequency too quickly instead of gradually over time

  • Form error – improper technique or shoe gear can lead to injury overtime

  • Returning to a sport or activity too soon after injury

  • Biomechanical and individual factors – body alignment and foot structure can predispose individuals to overuse injuries


Treatment of overuse injuries can be remembered by the mnemonic RICE-AR

  • Rest – complete rest from the activity may be necessary or cross training with a different sport/activity

  • Ice – apply ice to injured area for 15 minutes a day

  • Compression – apply an ACE bandage or elastic wrap after icing to prevent further swelling

  • Elevation – elevate the injured extremity above the level of the heart when resting

  • Anti-inflammatory medication – ibuprofen or Tylenol can be taken to reduce inflammation

  • Re-condition – stretching and strength training are important steps in rehabilitation and preventing future injury


If you suspect you have an overuse injury, consult one of our doctors at Foot& Ankle Doctors, Inc.


Dr. Nejad

Choosing a Top Quality Nail Salon

We all want to look our best and do a little self pampering and what better way to pamper ourselves than with a manicure and pedicure.

Nail salons provide services to hundreds of people and it’s important to choose a high quality salon with adequate hygiene to avoid accidental exposure to fungus, bacteria and viruses. To avoid a nail salon nightmare follow this guide:

1. Licensing – Make sure the salon is licensed and the staff has proper training. Podiatrist commonly see infected ingrown toe nails as a result of nail technicians that were too aggressive with their nail trimming.

2. Open cuts – avoid the salon if you have any open cuts or wounds on your feet or legs. Exposing any open wound to an environment like a salon that has a high volume of customers sharing the same chairs and whirlpools may lead to.

3. Whirlpools – avoid soaking your feet in whirlpools or the water basin connected to the chair. These are often difficult to clean and harbor bacteria. You can ask to have your feet soaked in a separate tub or use a disposable liner in the whirlpool.

4. Tools – ask the salon if the tools used are autoclaved or if disposable instruments are used. You can bring your own tools with you and clean them yourself to avoid the spread of warts.

5. Bring your own nail polish – salons use the same polish brush for each of their customers and this can result in the spread of nail fungus. Bringing your own polish will avoid any cross contamination and reduce your risks of developing a fungal infection.

Podiatrists commonly see infected ingrown toenails, plantar warts and fungal infection as a consequence from nail salons. If you think you have any of these infections come see one of our doctors at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc.

 

Dr. Farshid Nejad