Health Week starts June 11, topped off by Father's Day on June 17, so it's
a good time to give your man some good health advice. "Use sunscreen!"
Research suggests that men are more likely to get skin
cancer than women.
Also, get the checkups every man needs to ensure a healthy heart, prostate,
Sitting in high school biology, listening to the teacher drone on about
genetics, I snapped to attention when she used male pattern baldness as an
example of a dominant trait. My heart started pounding with fear - with bald
men on both sides of my mother's family as far as the eye could see, I was
doomed to have a chrome dome.
I remained anguished about the prospect of being bald for the next 20 years
as my hairline retreated and my hair steadily thinned. Bald men seemed
disfigured to me....
Men get twice the number of skin cancers as women. Is it because men are
less likely to protect their skin with sunscreen -- or because they tend to
have more outdoor jobs? That may not be the whole story.
Tests of male and female mouse skin have turned up a surprising finding.
Researchers in one study found that male skin cells carried fewer protective
antioxidants than the female skin cells. Also, when skin cancers appeared, they
were more severe in males than in females. Researchers are now investigating
whether human skin is really like mouse skin -- but they say that human male
skin is more sensitive.
Look for moles frequently to protect
your health. The majority of sun exposure happens before age 18, but skin
cancers can take 20 years or more to develop. Most skin cancers are curable,
and the American Cancer Society advises regular screening.
Always wear sunscreen:
Use broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, with
sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
Use waterproof sunscreen if you will be sweating or swimming.
Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before getting into the sun. That helps the skin
absorb it, so it's less likely to wash off when you perspire.
Remember to reapply sunscreen after swimming or strenuous exercise.
Apply sunscreen often throughout the day if you work outdoors. Wear hats
and protective clothing.
Men's Medical Milestone Tests
To keep your body as well-tuned as your beloved car, here are some health
tune-ups you need. Take them seriously, and they can save you from future
SOURCES: WebMD Medical News: "Men's Skin More Sun-Sensitive." U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services: "Sunscreen: How to Select, Apply,
and Use It Correctly." WebMD Medical Reference: "Medical Milestone
Tests in your 40s, 50s, 60s and Up."