Be The Man! Get Him Skin Savvy
WHOEVER stole your heart – whether he’s an outdoorsy kind of guy, a sports fanatic, a biker enthusiast or an office exec – celebrate the man in your life by protecting their skin!
Men might know a thing or two when it comes to changing a tyre, making a mean braai or choosing your favourite bunch of flowers when you’re feeling blue but most men, generally speaking of course, don’t know the importance of wearing suncreen and the very real risks of skin cancer. The truth is, with a few minor lifestyle adjustments, men can easily reduce their skin cancer risk to a minimum, without sacrificing the things they love.
South African renowned dermatologist and founder of Crème Classique, Dr Hardie De Beer, explains cases of malignant melanoma in men have spiralled in the last decade. In fact, the rate of increase is six times higher than in women. There are various possible reasons why men are more at risk. Women have started to take more precautions for themselves and their children against the potentially deadly effects of the sun. Another possible reason for the increase of melanomas in men is that they tend to occur more commonly on the back and so are not as noticeable as other areas of the body. Men also do not examine their skin as much as women and are less likely to seek medical attention should they find anything out of the ordinary. Adding to this, women are more likelier then men to use beauty products, and SPF is now routinely added to moisturiser, foundation, and BB creams, making sun protection an invisible step in the self-care process for many women.
“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in South Africa with about 20 000 reported cases every year and 700 deaths,” explains De Beer. “When it comes to statistics involving men, one in six South African men will get cancer during their lives. But not only are men at higher risk for getting skin cancer, once the sun damage sets in men may also be at a biological disadvantage compared to women. Studies have found that white middle aged men, for example, are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than white women in the same age bracket, even after adjusting for tumour size and location. The good news is that 90 percent of all skin cancers are curable – if detected early – and that’s when a feminine touch is need to enforce a daily skin care routine and encourage men to be more proactive in the fight against skin cancer.”
While you can’t stop your man from hitting balls on the green, surfing waves, going for a morning jog or simply playing in the pool with the kids, you can encourage some healthy sun habits. These habits include limiting time outdoors when the African sun is at its hottest (between 10 am and 4pm), buying him a broad-brimmed hat and encouraging him to wear it by telling how awesome he looks in it, buying him UV-blocking sunglasses, and, most of all, encouraging him to wear a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day and, for extended outdoor activity, a water-resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. Do your part by not only encouraging your man to examine his skin head-to-toe every month (as only 31 percent of men know how to perform skin self-exams) but also be on the lookout yourself for any suspicious lesions on him.
“Most men don’t like the feeling of greasy or sticky sunscreen on their skin so it’s important to not only choose the right SPF for your man, but also the right type of sunscreen,” says Dr De Beer.” Finding the right sunscreen might be a challenge at first but there are many options.