This way of protecting yourself from the sun is not just for women. It prevents premature aging and conditions such as skin cancer.
Medical Advisor: Juan Jaime Atuesta Negret. Specialist in dermatology, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Skincare for men often begins and ends with shaving. Men’s skincare routines are thought of this way, as the notion of taking care of the health and appearance of the skin is often considered more of a women’s issue. In fact, advertisements for sunscreen products almost always involve bronze-skinned women with the beach in the background. Skin cancer, one of the most severe consequences of prolonged sun exposure, does not distinguish between genders, however.
It is therefore important for everyone -men, women and children- to protect their skin not only when they go to the beach, pool or go outside; they must also protect their skin when indoors or on cloudy days (when 40% of ultraviolet radiation still hits the earth).
A specialist in general dermatology, cosmetic dermatology and dermatologic surgery, Juan Jaime Atuesta explains that prevention must begin at an early age by teaching kids how to take care of their bodies and by taking actions that are conducive to this. Over time, this will become a habit that they will practice for the rest of their lives.
The suggestion is to use sunblock after you shave and before moisturizing. Apply it first on the face and do not forget your neck.
- In addition to using it when you go to the beach or pool, it is important to apply sunblock even on a cloudy day. This is especially important considering that due to the geographic location of Colombia -along the equator- the sun’s rays hit the earth directly and not at an angle, which is what happens in the northern and southern tips of the planet. Keep the following in mind:
- Use sunglasses with proper solar filters, not just to look good.
- Avoid exposing yourself to the sun between a 11:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon. Some professions require being in the sun at this time, which makes it even more necessary to use sunscreen that is appropriate for the person’s skin type.
- Tanning beds and sun lamps can also cause sun damage. If they are used, be sure that the percentage of ultraviolet rays does not exceed 1.5%.
Be aware of changes in your body
The American Cancer Society points out two fundamental ways of detecting skin cancer: your eyes and a mirror. These two things are all you need to perform a self-examination.
It is important to check areas such as the neck, arms and head, which are the
areas that receive the most sun on a daily basis.
Look for sun spots, bumps or sores, especially if they do not heal after several weeks or if they are bleeding.
“The most important warning sign of melanoma is a new spot on the skin or a spot that is changing in size, shape, or color. Another important sign is a spot that looks different from all of the other spots on your skin. If you have one of these warning signs, have your skin checked by a doctor,” suggests the American Cancer Society.
People that follow these recommendations, Dr. Juan Jaime Atuesta concludes, will be people with healthier skin and fewer cases of skin cancer.