Your skin is the largest organ in and on your body. Your skin. Yes, your skin. Some of you knew that, most of you didn’t. Every day it is exposed to the sun or air. It is exposed to and absorbs toxins from water, body products, pollution, artificial materials and other chemicals. It porous. It absorbs. It is your guard, your body’s first line of defense, and it is the sun from which it needs the most protection.
Skin cancer affects significantly more men than women; yet women are the most aware and the ones to work on prevention. Skin cancer can kill you. If it doesn’t kill you it can cause a lot of pain and scarring. An article by the Skin Cancer Foundation entitled Men Fall Short in Skin Cancer Knowledge and Prevention, How They Are Paying The Price (last updated August, 2016), reported that:
“Just 51 percent of men in the U.S. reported using sunscreen in the previous 12 months and an alarming 70 percent did not know the warning signs of skin cancer, according to a Skin Cancer Foundation survey.”
“Men over fifty are more than twice as likely to die of melanoma than women.”
Let that sink in.
Whether you are out working in the yard, grilling, playing touch football, hoops, golf, paddle boarding, swimming, or just relaxing at the beach, put on some sun screen and find some fashionable hats and shades! Especially, if you can’t avoid the mid afternoon sun (the best option). A lot of times during the summer, alcohol is involved. That makes it easier to lose track of time, forget to apply/reapply sunscreen, or check on the status of your skin. A sun burn is just that, a burn on your skin. Burns are not good. Again, your skin is an organ.
Be sure to set yourself up. Have your sunscreen in the bathroom, keep some at work and in the car. Even if you are going to work indoors, apply to the exposed areas of your face and arms. You still have to go to and from work and run some errands. Don’t forget your neck and ears. If your in shorts and sandals, don’t for your legs, ankles and feet!
Would you like to look younger as you get older? Yes? Then make a habit of this. That person who tells you they’re seventy-five but they look fifty-five, sixty. That’s the payoff for good skincare.
At home, check your body. Get your significant other to help you scan your body for moles, especially irregular, dark brown or raise ones. Get to know your freckles and birth marks and be able to detect anything new or changing. Here are steps for a self-exam http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/early-detection/step-by-step-self-examination. Ask your doctor to do this at your next exam and/or if you have never been to a dermatologist, ask for a referral and see one.
Get to the store and find some cool hats. They are gaining some ground in fashion, so there are more choices out there. Caps don’t do it. Something with a brim is best. the wider the brim the better the coverage. And check out some sporty shades. You want maximum protection so do the best you can with your budget.
Light, long sleeve shirts and pants in the summer can be cool and good looking. Explore the options. Not sure? Get a friend or relative with some style sense to help you.
Please note, too, that the sun’s rays are still getting to your through thin cloud cover.
So, drink plenty of water along with your adult beverages, really work in that sunscreen, put on your hat and rocking shades. You’ll get more out of your summer and your life. Start early enough and people will marvel at your skin in your later years!
For the full article from the Skin Cancer Foundation go to http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sun-protection/prevention-guidelines/men-lag
Jeffrey Rabuffo, MD
Dr. Jeff has a weekly, half hour, live radio show on WLIS/WMRD, 1150AM (Old Saybrook, CT), which can be streamed live or on demand via http://wliswmrd.net. The show airs Mondays at 11AM with a replay on Thursdays at 11AM.
You can also order a copy of Dr. Jeff’s book, The Life of Men, available in a 2nd edition paperback on Amazon at this link http://amzn.to/2oICjjx
Dr. Jeff is also available to speak at your group, club, or organization.
He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org