Skin cancer may be hiding in unexpected places
SAN ANTONIO —
Did you know nail polish can cover up skin cancer that may be growing under your nails?
It's true. In fact, skin cancer can pop up anywhere on your body, even 'where the sun don't shine.'
“Once in a while, take that nail polish off and check your nails,” said Dermatologist Dr. Annabel Garcia. I recently had a patient that was diagnosed with melanoma on her nail. she started developing a little brown streak which was new for her.”
Dr. Garcia says melanoma, the most serious of skin cancers, can form anywhere on your body.
“I've had patients with melanoma in their genital area and their feet, on their scalp, things that you just don't think about,” Dr. Garcia told us.
“My hairdresser noticed a couple of little bluish kind of spots,” explained Janice Theis.
A routine trip to the hair salon may have saved Janice’s life.
“She said ‘You didn't have these three weeks ago,’ and she said ‘I think you need to have your dermatologist look at it,’” Janice said.
It was melanoma. But they caught it early, and now she's fine.
“I've always worn a visor to protect my face but didn't think about my scalp,” said Janice.
And be honest. Do you always think to put sunscreen on your feet?
“It will happen,” said Dr. Garcia. “When I noticed the moles and freckles on something like feet, and I asked patients ‘Did you know you had this? And a lot of times patients say ‘I had no idea.’ And it's usually because we just don't look at our feet.”
Dr. Garcia says get to know your feet, the top, bottom and between your toes. Inspect your toenails and fingernails on a regular basis and get your hair stylist or your spouse to check out your scalp.
Always wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply, reapply, reapply.