Memorial Day and time spent outdoors are right around the corner and that’s why Skin Cancer Awareness Month comes at this time each year. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, we want to take this opportunity to help our patients spot potential skin cancers on their feet (and the rest of their body) because early treatment helps ensure a high cure rate even for the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma.

Here is an easy way to help you remember and recognize the warning signs of a potential melanoma:

A = Asymmetry—If you were to draw a line directly down the middle of most melanomas the two sides won’t match, unlike moles or freckles that are perfectly round or oval.

B = Border—Common moles often feature smooth, even borders. Suspicious lesions, on the other hand, tend to be uneven and their borders may appear notched or scalloped along the edges.

C = Color—Multi-colored blemishes are more concerning. Benign moles are typically a single shade of brown whereas melanomas may have several different shades of brown, black, or tan. You may also see shades of blue, red, and white.

D = Diameter or Dark—If a lesion is a ¼-inch or larger (about the size of a pencil eraser) that can be a warning sign. Experts also urge getting a mole or lesion evaluated if it’s darker than the others that you have, regardless of size. There are, however, some melanomas that are colorless, but these are rare.

E = Evolving—Any change in size, color, shape, elevation, or activity of a spot, such as it becoming itchy, crusty or bleeding may also be a warning sign that melanoma is developing.

When it comes to getting suspicious lesions evaluated, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Examine the skin on your feet regularly. Be sure to look at the bottom of your foot as well as the top and to check between the toes. Look at your toenails as well. A dark spot under the nail can be potential skin cancer. If you notice anything that you are concerned about contact us as soon as possible so one of our podiatrists can check the spot for you and determine if further testing is warranted.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal, Dr. Dolan Chowdhury, Dr. Chris A. Obiarinze, Dr. Eric Freiler, Dr. Owen Morris, Dr. Farah Lakhram, Dr. Meltem Ates, Dr. Zakiyyah Waters, Dr. Ashley Kim, Dr. Usman Akram, Dr. Olufunke Buraimoh and Dr. Joseph Schmidl treat a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, and pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 11 conveniently located offices provide individualized high-quality care for patients all across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.