As long as the sun – and its harmful UV rays – remains in the sky, the risk of Melanoma or skin cancer exists. However, that doesn’t mean we should banish ourselves to living indoors for the rest of our lives. The sun has equally beneficial rays that promotes Vitamin D absorption, which just feels plain good, and helps maintain a healthy, balanced life. To find out how men can protect their skin against Melanoma, Male Standard spoke with Dr. Craig Kraffert, a board certified dermatologist and President of Amarte; a luxe line of skin care products designed to renew and rewind the effects of aging. Dr. Craig Kraffert reveals simple yet effective ways men can prevent deadly skin cancers, and a deeper understanding of how to spot the early symptoms of Melanoma. If you spend time in the sun, this is one you’ll want to read!Dr. Craig Kraffert
Do men experience different skin cancer risks than women?
In general, men spend more time outdoors than women as a result of occupational and recreational preferences. Skin cancer risk increases in proportion to cumulative sun exposure so men are at higher overall risk of developing all types of skin cancer than women.
Can men develop skin cancer if their skin doesn’t burn?
Men who sunburn easily are at greatest skin cancer risk. Still, even those who rarely on never burn have at least some risk of developing skin cancer. This risk is lowest in those of African or Asian descent.
What are the warning signs of early skin cancer?
Skin cancer may present in many different ways. The most common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, often starts as pink to pearly bump or patch with very fine blood vessels on top. Squamous cell carcinoma may show up as a flat or raised pink patch with rough scale. Melanoma sometimes starts as very dark or black mole, like a spot with more shape and color variation than surrounding moles.
What are the main risk factors for skin cancer in men?
The main risk factors for skin cancer in men are Northern European (especially Irish/Celtic) ancestry, high cumulative levels of sun exposure, fair skin that burns easily, family history of skin cancer and numerous funny-looking moles.
What is a non-melanoma skin cancer?
Melanoma is actually one of the rarer (but more deadly) forms of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer refers to all the other types of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma (most common) and squamous cell carcinoma (second most common). Non-melanoma skin cancer is estimated to have touched 4 million Americans over the past year.
How much sun exposure is required for healthy vitamin D levels?
Optimal levels of Vitamin D may decrease risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. Lynn Spitler, MD, a prominent melanoma clinical researcher from San Francisco with over thirty years’ experience routinely tests Vitamin D levels in her advanced melanoma patients. She reports that levels are often low in this group and almost universally low in women with advanced melanoma. The benefits of Vitamin D may also be more than skin deep. Many dermatologists now advocate daily supplementation with 2,000 IU oral Vitamin D.
What advice do you have for men looking to protect their skin?
It is well established that cumulative sun exposure is the main modifiable risk factor in melanoma prevention. Thus four of the five simple ways to prevent melanoma revolve around sun protection. It is important to note, however, that sun exposure does have an addictive component so some people are reluctant to cover up. One simple way to prevent melanoma revolves around optimizing immune system function.
So, here’s the list:
- Sun avoidance. This involves seeking shade and organizing outdoor activities during times of day and times of the year when sun exposure can be minimized.
- Protective clothing. Sleeves and hats are two great ways to decrease melanoma risk. After all, cowboys wore hats for a reason, and it wasn’t to make a fashion statement.
- Sunscreen. For areas of the skin that cannot be covered with clothing, sunscreen should ideally be applied whenever outdoors.
- Self skin exam. This is a great way to catch melanoma in its earliest stages when it is almost universally curable.
- Vitamin D supplements. As mentioned above, dermatologists recommend daily supplementation with 2,000 IU oral Vitamin D.
What SPF protection do you recommend for daily wear?
When shopping for sunscreen, keep these six parameters in mind: cost, availability, elegance, effectiveness, broad spectrum protection, and water resistance. Amarte Ultra Veil is a Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ with 40 minute water resistance that also contains botanical antioxidants that have been studied to better understand their potential anti-cancer properties.Ultra Veil Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ | Water Resistant (40 mins)
What is your Male Standard?
Work hard and play hard with an open generous mind. Pursue success with a spirit of dignity, humility, and kindness.
Thank you Dr. Craig Kraffert for sharing your amazing insight!
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