Why more men should visit the dermatologist

If you asked most women about what they do to protect their skin, most would say they have some sort of skin care routine, especially during the summer. But it seems these routines are not being picked up by most men.

According to a 2012 survey from The Skin Care Foundation, men’s knowledge of sun protection and skin cancer was far below that of women’s. Half of the respondents admitted to not using sunscreen in the past year and another 70% had no idea what skin cancer warning signs to look for. But, what’s most scary is men, not women, over the age of 50 are twice as likely to develop and die from melanoma.

Luckily, The Skin Care Foundation and other organizations including Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens are creating men-specific awareness campaigns to boost education and hopefully decrease these staggering statistics.

As one of the most preventable cancers, skin cancer can be avoided if you take precautions. One of the best things you can do for your skin is to visit a dermatologist every year to have a full body check. Moles can grow in between toes, on your scalp and various other hidden areas. The sooner a suspicious mole is found, the better your chances of not letting it transform into cancerous cells.

When you’re in between checks, keep these in mind to protect your skin:

  • 30 and above – The best sunscreens are SPF 30 or more and applied every 2 hours. So, if you’re playing 18 holes of golf on Friday, apply sunscreen before you tee off, and again at the 9th hole to stay protected.
  • Spots and moles – There are all sorts of skin cancer types and various scabs or moles that could potentially be cancerous. While some frequently bleed or have little white bumps, others can be dark, raised and have jagged edges. Check out this list of warning signs.
  • Noon and one – Peak hours are particularly harmful on your skin and can cause a sunburn in as little as 10 minutes if you don’t apply sunscreen. Plus, if you’re out on the water enjoying any one of Michigan’s lakes, you increase your risk because 80% of the sun’s rays are reflected on the water.


Image: Cristina Care

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Read 12 Comments

  1. Unfortunately I think most men think that since other men before them never wore sunscreen, they don’t need to worry about it either. “Back in the old days we worked the fields 8 hours a day and we didn’t wear any suncreen.” That might be true but now that science has advanced and we understand how cancer works, you really should be wearing sunscreen because who knows how many men back then ended up with cancer from spending long hours in the sun every day. Back then maybe they didn’t live long enough to see any ill effects from so much sun exposure but now that we’re living to 70, 80, 90 and older, we’re seeing a lot more of the damage the sun can do to our skin over time.

  2. I had no idea how important it is for men to visit the dermatologist so I am glad that I found this article! You make a great point that skin cancer is something that should be checked for each year. This way the dermatologist can find any spots and moles that could be cancerous and get rid of any issues early before they cause larger problems and turn into cancerous cells. Also, you make a great point that if you are outdoors you should always have SPF 30 or above to prevent future skin cancer and I will make sure to share this information with my husband.

  3. I honestly didn’t know that guys didn’t know a whole lot about sun protection, seeing as we are the ones who spend a lot of time out there. I know for me, I always try to use sunscreen whenever I go outside, regardless of how long I’ll be out there for. Speaking of which, there are a couple of spots that I want to get looked at before spring hits. As you said, it’s never a bad idea to get them checked out.

  4. I really like that you point out that skin cancer can be prevented if you take the right measure. My brother has been noticing a weird spot on his shoulder and I think he should get it checked out. I’ll have to look into finding the best dermatologist in our area to take a look at it.

  5. Our skin is very important to us and so is taking care of it. Now as you said here, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers out there. Whenever I do go outside, I do try and wear sunscreen whenever possible. That and I have noticed some odd lumps on my arm that I should probably get checked out sooner than later.

    1. Hi Caden. We commend you for wearing sunscreen diligently! It’s one of the best ways to protect yourself from harmful rays. Regarding the abnormalities on your arm, we recommend visiting your primary care physician and voicing your concern. Their expert opinion will be able to determine the severity of the issue. Hope this helps.

  6. While women make it a habit to always visit the dermatologist, men should also pick up on the habit and get to visiting their local skin care specialist too since their knowledge of skin cancer is much less when compared to that of women’s own knowledge. At the same time, moles growing in suspicious areas should be taken as a sign that there could be something wrong and that it could potentially lead to cancerous cells if not contained soon enough. Now that I know how to watch out for weird-looking moles on my body, I think it’s time for me to actually do a self-inspection and book an appointment to the nearest dermatologist just in case things get nasty.

    1. Hi Adrian, we agree! Everyone should be proactive and visit their dermatologist. Regular inspections and knowing what to look for are important in catching cancerous moles before they progress.

  7. It’s alarming to know that men over the age of 50 are twice more likely to develop and die from melanoma than women, which is why it’s important that they visit a reputable dermatologist from time to time. My husband has never gone to a dermatologist in our twenty years of being married. Since he’s almost 50-years-old, perhaps it would be a wise choice to take him to a dermatology clinic soon. Thanks for this!

    1. We’re glad that you found this information to be helpful, Levi. We hope that your husband takes the time to go to the dermatologist. He’s lucky to have you push him in the right direction! It is now more important than ever to be proactive and actively manage our health – especially when it comes to skin cancer prevention. – Candice

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