Your skin is the largest organ that your body has, also called “integument”. Your skin serves many functions including protection, prevents hydration, temperature regulation in hot/cold weather, prevents infections, feels sensations such as pain, and also can make vitamin D when you are in sunlight, adequate vitamin D levels prevent bones from becoming thin, brittle, or malformed as well. Vitamin D is also linked with the prevention of osteomalacia, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. Your skin is the most important part of your appearance and truly defines who you are, therefore it is extremely important regularly check your skin for anything odd looking pigments or patches on your skin that may appear an abnormal color or something that you never noticed on your skin before.
There are key rules that everyone should follow when examining themselves for odd looking pigments or marks on their skin. It is the “ABCDEs”; A –asymmetry, B – borders are irregular or mishapen, C – color, brown, black, red, white, or blue, D – diameter is usually larger than a pencil eraser, E – elevation, in appearance the lesion on your skin in question is raised or is higher, “feels like a bump”. The "ABCDE rule" is an easy guide to the usual signs of melanoma. Be on the look-out and promptly notify your primary care physician or dermatologist about any spots that match the following description. Some melanomas do not fit the ABCDE rule described above, so it is important for you to notice changes in skin markings or new spots on your skin.
As you are examining your skin keep in mind for lesions or darkened areas on the skin that do not heal, is a new growth, pigment (color) from the border of a spot to surrounding skin, redness or a new swelling beyond the border, change in sensation – itchiness, tenderness, or pain, and/or change in the surface of a mole – scaling, oozing, bleeding of the lesion or darkened pigmented area.
Several common skin conditions area eczema, which is a general term when the skin is inflamed or irritated, psoriasis, this produces thick red plaques covered with silvery scales, generalized acne that can be present in children and adults, and rosacea, which is commonly affects the skin on the face with redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. Several serious skin conditions that should be taken seriously if noticed are actinic keratosis which are patches that can appear pink or red on sun exposed areas of the skin. These lesions can develop into the most common form of pre-cancer. These lesions can also develop into basal cell carcinoma. Other lesions can grow into squamous cell carcinoma, all which can found on sun exposed surfaces of skin to cancerous lesions and should be examined by a medical professional.
A podiatrist is the only person that is trained in a specialized field in medicine for anything concerning the lower extremity, foot and ankle, that is why it is vital for you to visit your podiatrist if there are any problems concerning your feet. Dr. Theall’s office at Gentle Touch Foot Care is a unique experience because of his close relationship with a pedorthist that works in office and visits frequently for all his patients in need of assistance with their lower extremity appliances. If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Foot Care office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973-673-FOOT (3668). Remember to always support your feet and they will carry you everywhere!!!