male skin health

Skin Cancer Advice for International Men’s Health Week

10th-16th June 2019

It’s International Men’s Health Week this week, an event designed to raise awareness of a range of male health issues and informing as well as encouraging men to take action.

The organisers hope that through this event, more men will feel like it’s OK to talk about their health issues and not ignore them or push them to the side.

One issue that is often overlooked for men is the risk of skin cancer. Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager, Irish Cancer Society, told the Irish Examiner:

“While skin cancer can often be seen as something that affects women more, the reality is that more men than women get and die from skin cancer every year. The non-melanoma skin cancer rate was 46% higher in males in 2017 and mortality rates in men were 2.5 times higher for non-melanoma skin cancers compared to women.”

In the UK, non-melanoma incidences are 29% higher in men than women. According to Cancer Research UK, 2015 saw around 80,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in men vs around 62,100 in women.

Sun Protection Advice for Men

The fact is that men’s skin is no less susceptible to the risks of sun exposure than women’s. It needs good protection when outdoors in order to prevent sunburn, sun damage, premature ageing and the risk of skin cancer.

Dr Ross Perry says:

“I advise all patients to wear an SPF sunscreen every day of the year. It’s so much easier when sun protection becomes a habit – part of the daily ritual. It means that if you pop out for a walk or sit outside, you’re already protected from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays.

“It’s still a good idea to limit sun exposure too, especially avoiding the peak hours of 11am-4pm. Wearing a hat and sunglasses, long sleeves and trousers also provides extra protection. And if you are out in the sun all day, ensure you top up sunscreen regularly too.”

Skin Cancer Self-Checking for Men

“As well as daily ‘sensible sun protection’, it’s important to be vigilant for any suspicious skin lesions or odd moles. Skin cancer can follow years after sun exposure. We have patients now finding skin cancer appearing from holidays in the sun in the 70s or sunbed use in the 80s.

“I recommend a monthly mole check, top to toe. We advise the ABCDE rule for suspicious moles – Asymmetrical, Borders that are uneven or jagged, Colour that is unusual or patchy, Diameter that is particularly large or Evolving changes including itchiness, bleeding, discharge, fast growth.

“Often clients just have a ‘hunch’ that something isn’t quite normal. We call it the ‘ugly duckling’ sign. If you have a mole that is suspicious, worrying or unusual, get it checked out asap. If it’s nothing, you’ll have peace of mind. If the doctor agrees it’s worrying, then you’ll get a referral.

“Early intervention leads to the best recoveries, so don’t put it off, get it sorted.”

Thankfully most moles are not of concern, but it is important to check.

Skin Surgery Laser Clinics

Cosmedics’ Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer private mole removal at a selection of clinics based in London and Bristol. Moles are removed using the latest surgical techniques including laser mole removal; with trained doctors and surgeons.

Our team of qualified and experienced doctors and surgeons also treat other skin blemishes, including sebaceous cystsskin tagswarts and lipoma using  freezing, laser or surgical techniques.

For ultimate peace of mind, Cosmedics Skin Surgery Laser Clinic offer a thorough top to toe mole check carried out by their trained and experienced doctors.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was founded in 2003 by Dr Ross Perry, a qualified and experienced London GP who has an excellent reputation in skin treatments and has removed thousands of lesions/blemishes in his career.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.