Unexpected Places You Could Develop Skin Cancer
You may be wondering: “Can I only get skin cancer in places that see the sun?”. While most skin cancers are typically found in areas that are exposed to the sun, such as the face, ears, scalp, lips, neck, chest, arms, and hands, this is not a hard and fast rule. Skin cancer can be found anywhere on the body, even where the sun doesn’t shine!
5 Unexpected Places You Could Develop Skin Cancer
Under your Nails
Many people don’t realize that you could develop skin cancer underneath your finger or toenails! Be sure to check for any dark pigment underneath your nails. While this may be normal, it is best to see a dermatology provider to ensure a biopsy is not needed.
In Your Mouth
While the sun doesn’t typically shine in our mouths, this is another unexpected place that you could develop skin cancer. Be sure to ask your dentist to check the inside of your mouth when you go for your cleanings. Also, take some time to look inside your own mouth occasionally and call your dermatology provider if you notice any new lumps, bumps, or pigmentation.
Bottom of Your Feet
Yet another place that does not see the sun that you could develop skin cancer on are the bottom of your feet! Make it a habit to check the bottoms of your feet for any new bumps or pigment changes every month. If you notice any changes, make an appointment with your dermatology provider to make sure everything checks out!
On Your Scalp
While it can be common to get certain types of skin cancers on the scalp, especially on those who may have thinning hair, it can be tough to notice if you have thick hair. Be sure to have your hairstylist check your scalp while getting your hair done. If they notice any areas of pigment or bumps, be sure to make an appointment at your dermatology office. Your dermatology provider should also be checking your scalp during your full skin exams, also!
In Your Eyes
Unfortunately, you can develop skin cancer in your eyes. If you do develop skin cancer in your eyes, you will typically not be able to see cancer when looking in a mirror. When you are getting your regular eye exams, be sure to ask your eye doctor to check for any skin cancers. Your dermatology provider will be sure to check your eyelids during your full skin exam!
How can I be proactive with finding skin cancer early?
First, be sure to perform monthly self-skin examinations. Check out our blog on how to best perform these. Second, make your annual full skin exam appointment with your local dermatology office. Third, be sure to stay on top of your health by seeing your dentist, eye doctor, gynecologist, etc., as directed by your primary care provider! Give us a call to book your full skin exam today at (843) 872-3015!
Author: Sarah P. Fender, Certified Dermatology Physician Assistant