You probably never thought of seeing a podiatrist for a skin check, right? Although malignant melanomas are not common in the foot, they do occur and I have seen them.  Here are some examples below.

Dr. Nick Campitelli How do you know if it’s malignant?

You don’t. The only one who can tell is a pathologist who looks at the lesion under a microscope. Sure, you can use diagnostic factors and guidelines to give a “probability” of it being malignant, but the only true way to tell is to look at it from a cellular level.

The in-office guidelines are as follows: (known as the ABCD’s)

Asymmetry : If you draw a line through the center, do both sides look the same?
Border: The border of the lesion should be symmetric
Color: Is the color uniform? It should be!
Diameter: Is it bigger than a pencil eraser?
If your lesion violates any of the above parameters, it should be biopsied.

The biopsy involves a simple in office procedure where the lesion is anesthetized by a small injection, and a 3mm size area is sampled by what is called a “punch biopsy”. It is painless and only requires a band-aid. Results are typically back within 10 days.


This lesion has the appearance and characteristics of a melanoma yet after biopsy was found to be benign.


This was biopsied and found to be an aggressive melanoma.


Newly discovered mole found by this patient.


Close up. Biopsied and found to be benign.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: