Anecdotal evidence suggests that men’s skin health needs are vastly under-served, despite men over 50 being twice as likely as women to develop and die of melanoma.
Men often visit the doctor about skin complaints when it’s already too late, seeking treatment rather than prevention for skin conditions such as cancer. Men are 24 percent less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the last year, yet men’s skin care is critically important. Studies have found that only 34 percent of men wear sunscreen and just 70 percent don’t know the warning signs of cancer.
It’s essential, then, to inform and reassure men that skin conditions are a meaningful health problem that need to be addressed. Their dermatological concerns are not trivial or embarrassing. It is important to encourage the men in our lives to take good care of themselves and seek advice from a doctor about any skin lesions they may have noticed on their body – regardless of whether it impacts their wellbeing. This might be achieved by encouraging them not to resign to discomfort, referring them to your own doctor, or coming along to their appointment.
There is a $3.2billion market in men’s skincare products that aim to remedy skin conditions which hinder a man’s self-esteem, comfort, wellbeing or quality of life. Some conditions can be very serious in themselves – like psoriasis or melanoma, which can be fatal. Other skin conditions can be a sign of underlying issues; thinning hair, for example, suggests thyroid malfunction. Similarly, darkening skin is a symptom of Addison’s disease or insulin resistance.
It is crucial that everyone – including men – receives regular skin checks to aid in the early detection of serious conditions and skin cancers. They might just need some encouragement.