When we talk about the areas on our body where skin cancer appears, studies have shown that there are a few common places to point out. In the illustration below we pinpoint specific places for both men and women. Although it is very important to know this, there are also uncommon, or even unexpected places to look for skin cancer.
Common places where skin cancer appears
As skin cancer rates have been increasing for decades, so has the information about where skin cancer appears on our body.
As shown above, for men, the trunk (torso) is the most common place to look for skin cancer. The trunk refers to the chest area, the belly, and the back. The head and neck come second, as these areas often go unprotected by clothing and therefore most exposed to UV rays when outside. The arms and legs come third in ranking for skin cancer.
When it comes to women, the situation is quite different. The legs are by far the most common place to look for skin cancer. Women expose their legs to UV more compared to men, which could be an explanation. The trunk and arms are also common places for skin cancer among women.
The unexpected places for skin cancer
…Under the nails
Yes, skin cancer can grow under your nails. That goes for both your hands and your feet. Symptoms can look like a pigmented black or brown streak extending the length of your nail, but it can also be mistaken for a blood blister that never grows out.
Dermatologists advise wearing no nail polish when going for a skin check, to make sure that the nails can be checked as well.
…Under the sole of your feet
Along with your toenails, there is another place to regularly check for skin cancer: under the soles of your feet. Even though the soles don’t see a lot of sunlight, dermatologists report that they find dangerous spots there many times.
Of course, this has to do with the fact that we don’t see the soles of our feet often. Make sure to check your soles once in a while to see if you notice anything suspicious or irregular. Next time you plan a skin check, ask your doctor to check also this area.
…In the palm of your hand
The last place we want to highlight in this post is the palm of your hands. It seems that we ‘overlook’ this area because it seems unlikely that something is going on there. But the palms are exposed to UV radiation on a daily basis as they are never protected by clothing – except for gloves during the wintertime.
Take control of your skin health
Skin cancer can be a surprising threat, appearing in places you would have never expected. That’s why a skin health routine is so important. With regular self-checks and monitoring certain skin spots for changes over time. Join the SkinVision program to take control of your skin health.