With the dozens of meetings and events on most men’s daily calendar, it’s hard enough to hit the gym, let alone stay on top of routine medical visits. While a lot of men see their primary care physicians for a yearly physical, seemingly less urgent medical visits can be easily overlooked. But issues such as thinning hair or an irregular mole shouldn’t be pushed to the back burner, and a dermatologist can help. From adult acne to checking out the latest in anti-aging technology, here are six reasons for men to seek the advice of a skincare professional.
- A mole with irregular borders or changing shape or size
As one of the most preventable cancers, skin cancer can usually be avoided by taking precautions such as wearing sunscreen and avoiding sunburns. But, because men over the age of 50 are twice as likely to develop melanoma and die from it as women are, it’s important for men of all ages to get checked for skin cancer yearly. One of the best ways to ensure that skin cancer is caught early is to visit a dermatologist every year for a full-body scan. Moles may grow in hard-to-spot places like the back, so it’s important to have a dermatologist check for hidden skin problems. The sooner a suspicious mole is found, the greater chance it can be treated before it transforms into cancerous cells.
A significant change in a mole or a growth that’s itchy, bleeds, or doesn’t heal on its own are generally the first signs of skin cancer. So for an odd-looking mole, an immediate appointment with a dermatologist is clearly in order. But dermatologists can do much more than diagnose and treat skin cancer.
- Adult acne
Because acne is primarily a hormone-driven process, it affects more than 90 percent of teens. Acne is excess activity of the male hormones, like testosterone, at the level of the hair follicle and the oil gland. This excess activity leads to excess oil production, blockage of the hair follicles, and then inflammation from an overgrowth of bacteria in the area. The conditions that lead to teenage acne are, unfortunately, the same conditions that lead to adult acne, and so it’s common for men into their 20s and 30s to experience this condition.
Acne’s negative effect on quality of life can be enormous, and men who suffer from acne can experience lifelong social implications. But there’s no need to suffer in silence; bothersome or embarrassing adult acne can be successfully diagnosed and treated by a dermatologist. For men who find that over-the-counter anti-acne medications aren’t helpful, a visit to a dermatologist may provide a better treatment plan.
Since acne is hormone-related, dermatologists tend to treat men’s acne somewhat differently than women’s. In women, medications used to stabilize the level of hormones include birth control pills or Spironolactone, which blocks the effect of testosterone at the hair follicle. But treatment for male acne typically focuses on two different treatment strategies:
- Topical medications. The topical treatments prescribed for men are typically a little stronger than topicals prescribed for women because men’s skin tends to be a little oilier than women’s. Topicals for men may include prescription retinoids such as tretinoin and tazarotene.
- Oral medications. Since topical medications don’t work for everyone, a dermatologist may prescribe antibiotics to treat severe acne. But since antibiotics increase the risk of developing bacterial resistance, they’re typically used sparingly. If acne doesn’t respond as well as it should to a course of antibiotics, a dermatologist may prescribe a medication that shrinks oil pores.
Men who are bothered by facial scarring from severe acne or other causes should see a dermatologist to find out what treatment options are available. Although the best treatment for scarring is always prevention, visible scarring from acne lesions and other sources can be treated with procedures such as micro-needling and laser treatment, and a dermatologist can determine the best course of action for each patient.
- Unhealthy nails
Scaly, pitted, discolored, or brittle fingernails or toenails could signal a number of different health issues, from psoriasis to nutritional deficiencies and thyroid disorders. Even if the nail issues aren’t really bothersome, they’re a sign that something may be going on that’s causing inflammation or affecting organ function. High blood pressure, for example, can be much more resistant to treatment if psoriasis is also present, so it’s important to identify and treat both conditions. Since unhealthy nails can help a dermatologist identify interrelated conditions that may be affecting other bodily systems, it’s advisable to make an appointment to get them checked out.
- Thinning hair or scalp conditions
Many men experience hair loss and thinning hair. While it’s natural to lose a few hairs here and there—in fact, the average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs a day—a growing bald spot, widening part, or significant shedding could be a sign of something more serious. Hair loss is most often hereditary, but may also be the result of a diet lacking essential vitamins, nutrients, minerals or protein. A dermatologist may be able to determine the cause of thinning hair and recommend dietary changes or a prescription topical treatment.
Scalp conditions can cause anything from mild irritation to serious social impact. In the case of dandruff, everything from infrequent washing to stress can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, which then clump together and slough off as flakes. But sometimes, the flaking and itching are actually a condition such as seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal infection, or eczema. A dermatologist can diagnose scalp conditions and recommend dandruff shampoos or scalp treatments to eliminate itching and flaking.
- Facial lines and wrinkles
Whether it’s pressure to compete in the job market, or wanting to look good re-entering the dating market after a divorce, more men are seeking out non-invasive anti-aging procedures to address age-related fine lines and wrinkles. According to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the number of men having cosmetic procedures has increased 325 percent since 1997.
Non-invasive treatments can often be performed in an office visit, and require little to no downtime, creating a booming men’s market. In particular, BOTOX® injections have become a very popular option for men who want to get rid of lines and wrinkles, and many men in Sterling Heights are finding that anti-aging treatments such as BOTOX® are the key to looking and feeling younger.
In a matter of minutes, a dermatologist in Sterling Heights can administer BOTOX® injections to target designated muscles in the face that cause lines and wrinkles. BOTOX® injections require no anesthetic, and recovery is immediate, allowing a quick return to work in Sterling Heights and resumption of normal activities the same day. A wide variety of non-invasive anti-aging treatments are available, and a dermatologist can explain all the options.
It’s important for men to look and feel their best, and a visit to a dermatologist is an important investment in health and well-being. From anti-aging technology such as BOTOX® to topical medication for thinning hair, a dermatologist in Sterling Heights can determine the right course of treatment for each patient.