Skin Cancer Awareness
Tips, Tricks, and Alerts to Stay Protected
It’s getting hot out there, folks! With record heat waves sweeping the US West and South, it’s no surprise that online orders for sun hats and bandanas are skyrocketing. And at the same time, statistics surrounding skin cancer incidence in the US are growing, too. Every human is at risk for skin cancer, but did you know that men and bald people are particularly susceptible?
As many of you know, HeadBlade founder Todd was an advocate for scalp safety and comfort. He fought his own battle with cancer for more than a year — Todd tragically passed away, but his mission remains an integral part of the HeadBlade brand today.
At HeadBlade, we believe everyone should be able to rock their scalp confidently, comfortably, and safely. That’s why we’re breaking down some of the basics about skin cancer: what it is, what to look out for, and how to keep yourself safe from those scalp-scorching rays during the height of summer — and every day of the year!What is skin cancer?
Let’s start with the basics. Skin cancer, or melanoma, is the most common form of cancer in the world — and in the United States, more people are diagnosed with melanoma than every other form of cancer combined. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70 — and more than 2 deaths per hour can be associated to skin cancer in the US.
With such troubling numbers surrounding skin cancer, it’s always surprising to hear how little our clientele knows about skin cancer and its prevention. Luckily, prevention is as simple as sunscreen and staying out of the sun when you can — and in cases of early detection, the 5-year survival rate for skin cancer is 99%. Knowing what you’re up against is half the battle when it comes to melanoma, and the HeadBlade team is here to arm you with the resources you need to stay aware.What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
One of the reasons most forms of skin cancer are easy to detect is that they have visual signs that pop up early. People with natural freckles and moles are familiar with the new spots that crop up after a few days of heavy sunshine — skin cancer symptoms, on the other hand, appear as sores, flat lesions that often look like scars, or leathery, waxy bumps that can be dark brown, white, or pearly in appearance.
One of the most common signs of skin cancer is a mole or large freckle that changes in appearance — so, one that grows or shrinks, changes shape on your skin, suddenly feels firm instead of soft, or begins to bleed.
An interesting thing about skin cancer is that its symptoms can appear in places you wouldn’t expect — yes, melanoma nodules and carcinoma lesions are most common on skin that is open to the sun, but some people are especially susceptible to skin cancer symptoms on places like the bottoms of their feet, behind the ears, beneath the fingernails or toenails, or around the genitals. No matter where you see it, if you’re ever concerned about the appearance of something on your skin, make an appointment ASAP with a trusted dermatologist to get yourself checked out.Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
Anyone is at risk of skin cancer, but there is a higher incidence of melanoma development in people with:
- Bald heads. (More on that in a second!)
- Fair skin, red or blonde hair, and blue eyes.
- Freckles and moles.
- A love for indoor tanning.
- A weakened immune system, or medications that suppress the immune system and make the skin sensitive to sunlight.
- Past exposure to precancerous diseases, like Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV), actinic keratoses, or Bowen’s disease.
- A history of sunburns, especially severe ones.
- A lifestyle that keeps you in the sun a lot.
- Certain genetic diseases, disorders, and viruses, like Gorlin syndrome, HPV, or albinism.
- Previous cases of skin cancer.
Luckily, knowing your genetic lottery gives you crucial information you need to protect yourself from skin cancer — and of the cancers that affect us, melanoma is among the easiest to prevent.How can I protect myself from skin cancer?
Skin cancer prevention mainly boils down to staying out of the sun. And when you can’t, you have to give your skin as much ammunition as possible to fight back against harmful UVR rays.
The two best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer are wearing sunscreen — every day — with an SPF rating of at least 30, and committing to annual physicals and examinations from your dermatologist. Early detection is most of the battle when it comes to skin cancer. Here are just a few of the ways you can protect yourself from skin cancer:
- Wear sunscreen.
- Get annual physicals and examinations from a trusted dermatologist.
- Cover up: that means UV-resistant shirts and pants, hats, and sunglasses with enough coverage to protect the skin around your eyes.
- Seek shade whenever you’re outdoors.
- Pay special attention to sun- and skin-care for your scalp.
We could write an entire book on why it’s so important to protect your scalp from the sun. One of the reasons people with bald heads are more susceptible to skin cancer is that we’re missing the fur coat protection that our friends with hair enjoy every day. Plus, we all know from keeping our domes smooth that it can be tough to even see every inch of our scalps.
The scalp is the first part of our body that comes in contact with the sun — our lower bodies benefit from shade from our shoulders and chests, but the scalp has only what you put on it to keep it safe. That’s why it’s critical to wear hats on brutally sunny days, stay in the shade as much as possible, and wear sunscreen that is specially-formulated for the scalp.
In honor of Todd and his legacy, we design HeadBlade products with your health and safety in mind — not to mention, your impeccable style. We regularly introduce new products like the HeadLube SPF 50+ Sunscreen For Your Head, all with the intention of keeping you safe, comfortable, and lookin’ great. Our scalp sunscreen is designed with a greaseless formula that won’t leave that annoying, shiny residue on your noggin. It’s also water resistant (and sweat-resistant, too!) so you can enjoy your time on the water or at the beach without worrying about sweat or sunscreen running into your eyes.
It’s getting to be a hot summer out there, folks. To learn more about our original HeadBlade razors, stock up on replacement blades, or peruse our full range of lotions, creams, sprays, and other rock-your-noggin goodies, check out our online catalog here. And as always, if you have any questions about HeadBlade, how to use your razor, or just want to share your favorite tips and tricks for summer scalp safety, get in touch with our team. We’d love to hear from you!