Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of age, race or gender. When it comes to skin cancer prevention and detection, however, it seems that men need to brush up on their knowledge. According to a 2016 American Academy of Dermatology survey:
1) Only 56 percent of men know that theres no such thing as a healthy tan, compared to 76 percent of women.
2) Just 54 percent of men know that getting a base tan is not a healthy way to protect your skin from the sun, compared to 70 percent of women.
3) Only 56 percent of men know that skin cancer can occur on areas of the skin not typically exposed to the sun, compared to 65 percent of women.
Its important for both men and women to protect their skin from harmful ultraviolet rays and regularly examine their entire body, including hard-to-see areas, for signs of skin cancer, says board-certified dermatologist Abel Torres, MD, JD, FAAD, president of the AAD. While our survey results indicate that men don't know as much about skin cancer prevention and detection as women, men over 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, so its especially important for them to be vigilant about protecting and monitoring their skin.
Regular Skin Exams
To keep your skin looking good and reduce your skin cancer risk, the AAD recommends protecting yourself from the sun by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, Dr. Torres says. And since skin cancer - including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer - is highly treatable when detected early, its important to regularly take a good look at your skin and check it for suspicious spots, asking someone you trust to help you examine hard-to-see areas.
We want to remind everyone, especially men over 50, to regularly examine themselves for signs of skin cancer, Dr. Torres added. If you notice any irregular spots on your skin, or anything changing, itching or bleeding, see a board-certified dermatologist.
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