Are men too busy for sunsreen? What about you? Do you look for excuses to skip protecting your skin from the sun?
How about the males in your family? According to data males have skin cancer much more often than females. Although as the generation of those who were addicted to a tan get older, the numbers are becoming more even.
So why are men too busy to use sunscreen?
Skin protection is a lifestyle habit that has often not been shared with the guy members of the family. Then, of course, there is the avoidance of things considered feminine. No one wanted to be considered a “sissy!”
In this day and time, those differences are fading. I didn’t teach my son to care for his skin. If it was clean, that was enough. Is it any wonder he has regular visits to his dermatologist? And has had several surgical removals of skin cancer on his head, face, neck, ears, nose, shoulders, arms, and hands.
He is at high risk for skin cancer with strawberry blonde hair and the pale complexion that goes with it. Years of being on the lakes in the blazing hot New Mexico sun. Then add being a guide for river rafting trips and working in a ski resort during his college years. Sunburn after sunburn.
We Are More Aware Now
I could not help but notice the time my youngest daughter spent on her son and taking care of his skin as he was younger. Talking to him about why he needs to take care of his skin.
He is only 11 now, still young. However, as he assumes more of his own skincare, he has a better idea of skin care than his uncle was given.
Yes, I have been around the other grandsons, but I was busy, still working, and didn’t get to spend as much time after they got beyond the toddler stage. I know there are products in their bathrooms for skin care as they get older, and short conversations indicate regular use of the products.
So, as time moves forward, there is the hope that young men will start taking better care of their skin. That they will be better at self-examination, and move past the habit of ignoring their skin.
To add to the equation, young men are usually outside more than females. Consider the double standard of guys going without shirts, while of course girls are being taught to cover up earlier. This extra time of direct sun on the trunk of their bodies is thought to build the basis for their skin getting more sunburn events earlier in life.
Not to be forgotten is also the more dare-devil personality of the younger males to think they are indestructible as well.
However the past few years the data is seeing a surge in skin cancer in women. Women are covering less skin, and the results are changing the way the percentages are going. More females are exhibiting daredevil personality traits.
More Men Than Women Are Diagnosed With Melanoma
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center tells us that they are seeing more women have melanoma skin cancer, and it is happening when they are younger than 50 years old.
So women are developing this form of skin cancer at a younger age. The numbers swing back the other way as people age. More men than women exhibit melanoma.
This is thought to be because of the crazy world of young girls and tanning beds. Then there were also the ones who laid out in the sun to get that tanned body they thought was so beautiful.
However, after age 50, the data supports the idea that men and women are more equal for a particular kind, of melanoma. As the population ages, and this group gets older, science thinks that there will again be more men than women with the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma.
Even with more women being diagnosed right now, men die more often from melanoma. Why? That is thought to be because men are not as careful to pay attention to their skin, and the warning signs of skin cancer.
So intervention happens after the melanoma is too far along for successful treatment.
Sun Protective Clothing
This is where sun blocking clothing can help you begin to lower your risk of skin cancer. By covering your skin when out in the sun, you will be moving towards a safer lifestyle. Skin cancer is one of the cancers that can be prevented. Keeping your skin covered is the first step.
That is easy to do, and once you realize the risks you are taking in remaining in the sun during the hotter times of day, you realize you can change.
Remember to wear a sun blocking hat when you are going to be out in the sun. Just as important is to wear your sunglasses anytime you are out. In our part of central Texas, it is important to remember sunglasses in all seasons. We have so much direct sun that damage will happen in the wintertime as well as the summertime.
Wearing a shirt with long sleeves and a loose fit is also important, especially if you are out between 10 AM and 4 PM. Using sunscreen on your face is also important for your skin. The reflected rays are out there when you are on the water, driving in your vehicle, on the golf course, or mowing the grass.
Early aging can be going on any time there is light. Early in the day, and late in the evenings as well. Apply sunscreen on your face just like you brush your teeth. Every day, remember to reapply if you are sweating, swimming, or doing any activity that results in your sunscreen being affected.
Sami’s Take On 7 Risks Kids Face from the Sun “Just Because They Are Kids.”
There is one more risk, that parents need to keep in mind that can make their kids at higher risk for sun damage. Medication
Check the labels of the medications your kids need. Make sure they are not on the list to raise your kid’s risks.
List of drugs for young kids’ parents:
- Antihistamines: These are medicines that help with allergies and allergic reactions.
- Coal Tar and Derivatives: These are medicines that treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Contraceptives, Oral, and Estrogens: Medicines used to prevent pregnancy and treat certain medical conditions.
- Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: These are medicines used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.
- Phenothiazines: These are medicines used to treat mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
- Psoralens: These are medicines used to treat skin conditions such as vitiligo.
- Sulfonamides: These are antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections.
- Sulfonylureas: These are medicines used to treat diabetes.
- Thiazide Diuretics: These are medicines used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
- Tetracyclines: These are antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections.
- Tricyclic Antidepressants: These are medicines used to treat depression, but should only be given under the supervision of a doctor.
It’s important to always consult with a healthcare professional before giving any medication to your child, as they can advise you on the proper dosage and potential side effects.
Time and again, medical professionals tell us to cover our skin, remember our sun hat and sunglasses and add sunscreen on exposed skin.
No, it is not a complicated suggestion. You can do it. Is it different from what you do? Probably. But it is time for you to change a few lifestyle habits that keep getting you in trouble.
You probably already have everything you need to protect your skin from the sun, and reduce your skin cancer risks. Just move them to a location that is easier to grab as you leave to go outside. Check your closet for the best sun blocking already in your closet.
Just because you have been careless in the past does not mean that is all you can do. Covering your skin, avoiding the direct sun times of day for outside activities, from 10 AM until 4 PM. Yes, early morning and late afternoons are safer times. If you don’t want to keep reapplying sunscreen, stay covered.
Let us all get some better lifestyle habits going, OK?