Every year in the month of November, we love seeing our patients and male colleagues rocking mustaches for a good cause. That cause, of course, is Movember, the organization and movement seeking to reduce the number of premature deaths in men.
Their claim to fame is asking people to grow mustaches to raise awareness about men's health issues.
While Movember focuses on suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, our Movember celebration (naturally) includes skin cancer prevention. Performing a monthly skin self-check also helps men prevent premature deaths. So, what does a self-check entail? Just follow the five steps below:
+ Examine your body, front and back, in a full-length mirror, paying special attention to your legs
+ Bend your elbows and examine your forearms, the back of your upper arms, and your palms
+ Look at your feet, including the spaces between your toes
+ Use a hand mirror to look at the back of your neck and your scalp
+ Examine your buttock and back with a hand mirror
As you examine your skin, how can you tell the difference between ordinary moles and ones that require attention from a board-certified dermatologist? As the American Academy of Dermatology says, you can use the ABCDE trick as your guide. Make an appointment if you see:
| Asymmetrical moles
| Borders of spots that are patchy and uneven
| Colorful moles or moles that change in color
| Diameters of spots that are large
| Evolving moles
If your skin check comes out clear--and we hope it does--you should still make a yearly appointment
with a board-certified dermatologist to get care from an expert. With enough attention and preventative measures, you can lower the number of early deaths from cancer. That's worth celebrating, during Movember and all year round.
If you or a loved one is participating in No-Shave November for cancer awareness, you'll want to make sure your beard is a beautiful conversation starter!
In order to maintain a healthy beard, you must look after the skin underneath. Taking care of your skin can help you avoid itchiness, acne, and beard dandruff.
Here are a few dermatologist-approved tips for healthy facial hair.
Step 1. Cleanse your beard and face daily.
Daily cleansing is essential for proper beard maintenance, so before your beautiful beard starts to sprout, you'll want to prep your skin.
Dirt, oil, and dead skin can clog your pores and increase the likelihood you'll experience annoying ingrown hairs during your first few no-shave days. Using the right cleanser is important to achieve the best results.
If your skin isn't acne-prone and doesn't become irritated easily, use a gentle, non-comedogenic, exfoliating cleanser that minimizes free radical damage and boosts hydration. ISDIN Isdinceutics Essential Cleansing Oil
uses botanicals to deep-clean the skin while delivering barrier-protecting antioxidants.
Cleansing becomes even more important after your beard begins to grow. Your facial hair can trap dirt, oils, dead skin cells, and environmental pollutants, which can build up over time and clog your pores, causing irritation and inflammation.
Step 2. Moisturize your skin and beard.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you might be tempted to avoid moisturizers. However, it's essential for keeping your skin and beard conditioned; when your beard hairs are softer, they are less likely to irritate your skin or become ingrown.
Apply your moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp, which helps distribute the product evenly and maximizes hydration. Work the product into both your beard and skin. An excellent moisturizer for all skin types is West Derm Antioxidant Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 50
, which delivers a boost of antioxidants and hydrating hyaluronic acid.
Step 3. Detangle and groom your beard.
Gently comb the conditioner, beard oil, or beard balm throughout your beard with your beard comb or brush. This step ensures the product is spread evenly throughout your facial hair. This stage is easier when the hair is still wet.
While No-Shave November is a great time to explore different facial hair configurations, it's an even better time to have a skin cancer check
from a qualified dermatologist. Skin cancer is among the most common forms of cancer in the United States; approximately one-fifth of the American population will develop a form of skin cancer at some point.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer is to have your skin examined by a licensed dermatologist. Schedule an appointment today at a dermatology center near you