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Open Access Review

Dermoscopy as a technique for the early identification of foot melanoma

Ivan R Bristow1* and Jonathan Bowling2

Author Affiliations

1 School of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, UK

2 Department of Dermatology, The Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK

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Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2009, 2:14  doi:10.1186/1757-1146-2-14

Published: 12 May 2009

Abstract

Malignant melanoma is the most common primary malignant tumour arising on the foot. Where improvements in the prognosis have been observed for patients with melanoma elsewhere on the skin, pedal lesions are still frequently delayed in presentation through neglect or misdiagnosis. Detection of foot melanoma relies on the health care practitioner's skills and observations in recognising early changes. Recent publications have documented the use a dermoscopy as a tool to improve recognition of such suspicious lesions. This paper reviews current literature with a special emphasis of its potential applications on plantar and nail unit melanoma. Data from these studies suggest that the technique is a useful and significant adjunct to clinical examination, which ultimately may lead to earlier recognition of this aggressive tumour.