Slip, Slop, Slap Your Feet

Skin cancer on feet

Slip, Slop, Slap Your Feet

*WARNING – Graphic images below*

As Australians, most of us know the importance of  using sunscreen whenever we go to the beach or plan to be in the sun for a long time. You probably slip, slop, slap sunscreen on your face, the tops of your shoulders, lower back and ears  – but do you think of your feet? 

When you are lying on the sand with your back to the sun, the soles of your feet are also receiving the full force of the sun’s rays and likely without the protection of sunscreen. After all, who thinks to put sunscreen on the soles of their feet!

Skin cancer can occur on both the tops and bottoms of your feet as well as under the nails. Checking your feet regularly is a key part of early prevention. Here’s what you should be looking out for:

  • Brown or black vertical line under a toenail
  • Any irregular moles, bumps or patches of skin
  • Pinkish-red spot or growth
  • New spot or growth where you injured your foot
  • Rapidly growing mass on your foot, especially where you once injured your foot
  • Non-healing sore on your foot (or a sore that heals and returns)
  • Sore that looks like a diabetic ulcer


Case Study: 

This patient had a sore of the bottom of her foot that developed into a large malignant melanoma. These images convey the story: 

  1. The melanoma on the bottom of her foot 10 years ago
  2. The patient’s foot after the first surgery to have the melanoma removed
  3. 10 years later, a sore returned in the same spot. It wouldn’t heal and turned into a large melanoma
  4. The patient required a second surgery to remove the melanoma. Her foot has finally healed

*WARNING – Graphic images below*

Our patient wanted us to share this information with you so that you realise the importance of taking care of your feet in the sun. 

skin cancer case study

How can you prevent getting skin cancer?

There are two very simple things you can do to help prevent getting skin cancer on your feet.

  1. Cover up your feet whenever possible. This means wearing sneakers instead of sandals where you can. Trying to sit in the shade or with your feet under the table so they aren’t in direct sunlight. 
  2. If you are heading to the beach or just can’t avoid having your feet in the sun, slather on sunscreen with SPF 30+ or 50+ . The SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ and the higher the number, the more protection for your skin. The Cancer Council recommends the use of broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen that is SPF 30+ or above. It should ideally be applied liberally around 20 minutes before going outside and should be reapplied regularly.

If you are worried about a mole or patch of skin on your feet, please don’t hesitate to get professional help immediately.  Book an appointment with one of our podiatrists, your GP or your dermatologist today.

Bondi Junction: 9386 5400
Barangaroo: 8599 9811
St Ives: 9440 4600

Category: Podiatrist St Ives