Skin cancer in men approaching 50 is on the rise. And the simple bottle of sunscreen or suntan lotion is a massive part of the solution. It might feel like something you only use when you are on holiday, but sunscreen is vital to help look after your skin and keep you looking young. Many face creams for women have had a sun lotion component for some time, where the SPF level helps protect against the harmful rays of the sun that add to ageing. And it is now coming to the face creams we use as men on a daily basis.
Sun lotion really isn’t something you just splash on for 2 weeks in Spain – we can’t emphasise that enough. let’s take a look at skin cancer in men and what it means before going back and taking a quick look at suntan lotion or sunscreen and how it can be remarkably effective in solving that problem.
Skin Cancer In Men
Unfortunately skin cancer is on the rise. Cancer Research UK show that men are twice as likely to get skin cancer now than 30 years ago. Looking younger is one thing when using sunscreen – dying younger is something else altogether. Skin cancer rates have been attributed to three main factors –
- More holidays overseas
- Global warming
- The higher use of sunbeds
The UV levels are what causes skin cancer as the radiation from this light source causes the skin cells to mutate. Men approaching 50 are dying from this totally preventable disease. Avoiding the sun in the middle of the day as well as rigorously and frequently applying sun lotion in the other times is a big step in the right direction.
Men approaching 50 might have other priorities when they are out in the sun but this can be a matter of life and death, so extreme caution is advised. Another factor I have come across as I race towards the big 5-0 is the lack of hair on the top of my head to help deal with the sun’s rays. I didn’t get a burned head until I was in my late 30’s and now it is such a danger that I rarely go out without a hat on in midsummer.
The other way to manage skin cancer in men approaching 50 is to check your moles. This might not sound like much of a hobby but a few minutes every month or so (particularly in the summer months) will put you in control. And don’t forget to ask someone to check out the ones you can’t see.
You are looking for what has been handily classified as ABCDE –
- A – Asymmetry. Do both halves of the mole look the same?
- B – Border. Is the edge of the mole uneven or blurred?
- C – Colour. Is the mole a mix of different shades or colours?
- D – Diameter. Is it bigger than 6mm from side to side? (As a tip, the end of a pencil is about 5mm across)
- E – Evolution. Has the mole changed?
This is a handy guide to help you stay healthy and on the lookout for skin cancer. The last thing you want is to leave this to chance. We don’t want a general panic on our hands but why take the risk? If this article can save the life of just one single solitary person then I will die myself (in many, many years I hope you understand!) a very happy man.
Sunscreen or Suntan Lotion
An effective way of blocking the harmful UV rays of the sun is to protect your skin with suntan lotion. The best brands (not one for Poundland, guys, in my opinion) have been rated as effective in blocking UV rays. The phrase sunblock has disappeared because it doesn’t block the sun. We can only hope to filter and protect as much as we can. An SPF Factor 50 is a pretty good start for a holiday anywhere south of the UK. I would also suggest that you wear a face cream with SPF in it for everyday use and then apply something like a 30 or back to the 50 when you are out and about for extended periods in the UK during the summer months.
Don’t forget your lips. Sun lotion or sunscreen doesn’t taste great, so using a product specifically designed for the lips will help you stay protected and keep your palate on an even keel too!
Apply sun lotion several times per day and always reapply after showering, swimming, towelling or excessive sweating. The skin will expel all of the goodness the lotion has put in place, so you need to keep on top of the protection – especially important of you are fair haired or blue eyed. A hat helps, staying out of the sun at the peak times and wearing sun lotion at the other times. Skin cancer in men is something we can work together to fight.
This site is filled with advice. Some of it is small fry compared to this, such as how to get better sleep. Men approaching fifty, just like you, are dying from skin cancer. Please don’t take any risks here. Be protected and check out your moles. If you are unsure at all then get an appointment with your GP and get it checked out by a professional. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to skin cancer. No GP will chastise you for wasting their time. Your health is too important.