When a freckle is not a freckle

During summer we expose our feet to a range of different conditions. Typically, due to the heat we tend to find ourselves wearing thongs or semi opened shoes for ventilation. Consequently, we then expose our feet to the sun and it’s damaging rays.It is quite common for a freckle to appear on the foot, but it can also be a sign of something more sinister such as a Melanoma. We need to be thoroughly and frequently checking our feet regardless of the amount of exposure to the sun they experience. Like any medical condition, early detection is key and this is especially applicable to Melanomas.How to check – Look over every aspect of your foot. Start with the top of your foot (known as the dorsum surface), inspect the toes including between them, then follow by looking on the bottom of your foot (known as the plantar surface.) If mobility restricts your ability to inspect, hold your foot up to a mirror to visualise more surface. Melanomas can also develop on the toenails, so ensure you remove any nail polish and inspect the nails surface too.What to look for – We can consider the ABCDEs of screening. This includes; Asymmetry, Border Irregularity (can you trace it?), Colour variations (varying shades of brown, black, tan), Diameter (larger than 6mm) and Evolving (is it getting bigger?) However,, any mass that is rapidly growing, non-healing and is a new lesion, should be thoroughly checked by a trained medical profession who tends to skin cancers often. Prevention is always better than cure so before you head out on your next summer adventure, ensure you apply sunscreen thoroughly to your feet reapplying as needed and opt to wear enclosed shoes where suitable.