SUN SENSE: The scalp is a high-risk site which, if neglected, can lead to some nasty outcomes.
SUN SENSE: The scalp is a high-risk site which, if neglected, can lead to some nasty outcomes. thodonal

Men's Health: Scalp protection tips

YOU may be very aware of regularly applying sunscreen on our face, hands, arms and even our legs, but what about taking care of your scalp?

Dermatologist Dr Yan Pan says it's an area of the body that is often neglected.

"Hair loss can affect both genders," Dr Pan said. "With females, as they age, there will be thinning and increased parting of their hair on the scalp. It's a risk that people should be aware of."

The scalp is a high-risk site which if neglected, can lead to some nasty outcomes.

Protection

  • Wearing a hat is critical. Aim for a wide brim rather than relying on baseball caps.
  • Avoid relying on a visor for protection.
  • Treat wearing a hat like you treat putting on sunscreen; put it on as you head outdoors, particularly if you are going outside for an extended time.
  • Be aware of the UV index which you can find through the Sunsmart app which you can download from the App Store or Google Play.
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF factor of 30+, broad spectrum and is water-resistant. Apply 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours.
  • Make sure the sunscreen you are using hasn't expired.

Detection

  • It can be hard to successfully self-examine your scalp health, so ask your partner, friends or hairdresser to look for you.
  • "Sometimes the skin cancer can be in hair-bearing areas which can be tricky to self-assess," Dr Pan advised.
  • If there is anything you are worried about, talk to your GP. They can then refer you to a specialist, if required.

Skin examination

"I think you should have your skin examined annually by your GP," Dr Pan said. "For high-risk patients, it should be done more regularly."

For more information, go to sunsmart.com.au or the Cancer Council website in your state.


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