A learning experience at the annual College of Podiatry Conference

HCPC registered podiatrist are required to undertake continued professional development every year.

A great way for podiatrists to keep up to date with developments in podiatry is by attending the conference.  This year it took place in Bournemouth and saw over 1,350 podiatrists, 100 speakers and 75 exhibiting companies attend.

A great learning experience this year was Dr Bryan Markinson’s presentation on podiatric dermatology. He works in the United States at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, one of the country’s most prestigious hospitals.

He presented on the range of skin conditions he commonly sees. In particular, he stressed the importance of requesting a biopsy for unusual skin lesions to rule out potential melanoma.

Malignant melanoma is a life-threatening skin tumour. Prognosis is good when the condition is detected early. However, due to delays in diagnosis- melanoma in the foot generally have poorer outcomes than other parts of the body.

Risk factors for melanoma include:

-UV radiation exposure and history of sunburn, having benign and dysplastic naevi (moles), family history of melanoma, immunosuppression, blue or green eyes, freckles, red hair colour, history of injury or exposure to chemicals.

Many conditions can lead to dark legions on the skin and nail that are perfectly harmless. For example, longitudinal melanonchyia (a pigmented streak common in darker skins tones) or subungual haematoma (bruising under the nail) can cause discolouration.

We at The Footcare Centre will check for changes in skin conditions at every appointment and over the years we have picked up on melanoma and other skin cancers. If you see a podiatrist or come to our practice- in between appointments if you notice changes to your toenails or lesions to the foot, it is important to have them checked promptly by your GP or bring your appointment forward at your podiatrist who can then request for a biopsy if necessary.

We have referenced a couple of points from a very good paper so for further reading see the following link:

Clinical guidelines for the recognition of melanoma of the foot and nail unit

Ivan R Bristow, David AR de Berker, Katharine M Acland, Richard J Turner and Jonathan Bowling

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research20103:25




If you are concerned about in skin condition related to the feet see the below links for further information and if you would like to book an appointment please call 01932 849373 or book online

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