Even in winter people should look in an unlikely location for potentially cancerous spots on the skin: under and on top of your feet.

Melanoma on the foot is not all that common compared to other areas of the body, particularly those that get heavy exposure to the sun like the face, arms and shoulders.

The ABCD rule is a great tool for determining if a mark or mole might be cancerous, but  skin cancer on the feet can masquerade as other, more typical afflictions of the foot like fungal infections, a plantar wart, eczema or ulcer.  The important thing to look for, is when those typical afflictions don’t get better.

You should  visit  your primary care physician or a podiatrist if a foot problem doesn’t respond to the kinds of remedies that should take care of it. People should pay particular attention to changes in the foot, such as non-healing sores, bumps that crack and bleed, nodules with rolled edges or scaly areas.  Podiatrists say these things often go unnoticed.

And it’s not just melanoma that could be cause for concern. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are types of skin cancers that look much different than typical melanoma, which often presents as a black mark or mole. There are a lot of other things like rashes, eczema, fungal infections and warts.  A lot of things are very common and very benign and could masquerade as other things.

Pay attention to your toenails as well.  Dark streaks growing through the nail bed could be because there is a melanoma at root of nail and it discolours the nail as it grows out.