Women’s skin gets much of the attention for medical and care purposes, and women tend to be more aware of epidermal wellness. But men also face challenges to healthy skin, from maladies and damage to normal wear and aging. Three of the top antagonists to thriving skin have clear strategies for treatment and prevention. As with any skin problem, it is always best to ask your dermatologist in person for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. If you want an expert opinion in under 24 hours, ask a First Derm dermatologist — they will tell you the likely identity and first step treatments for your skin problem in under 24 hours.
Like its name implies, this is an inflammation of hair follicles, so it can happen anywhere on the body, but especially the places with concentrations of hair. It looks like little red pimples with a hair at the center. It can look like razor burn, but it can occur even on parts of the body that you don’t shave, and it can stick around longer – as much as two weeks. Folliculitis happens when the follicles become irritated by rubbing or chafing, or if they get clogged by sweat, machine oils or medicinal oils. It can also be caused by fungus or bacteria. You can help avoid folliculitis by showering regularly and not reusing or sharing towels and washcloths. It helps to avoid oils or to clean them from the skin soon after exposure. And if you use public hot tubs or pools, you should shower – with soap – immediately afterward.
- Sun damage
Men can actually be at greater risk of solar skin maladies because they don’t wear the creams and makeup that give so many women protection. And men tend not to be as attentive to protecting their skin during outdoor activities. Prolonged sun exposure can lead not only to sun burns but to skin cancer. And after age 50, men face greater risk than women of the deadliest form of skin cancer – melanoma. The best way to avoid sun damage is to stay out of the sun during the brightest periods of the day, about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must be outside, stay in the shade, wear a hat and wear UV-protected sunglasses. Summertime clothes offer little protection – about equivalent to SPF 5 sunscreen – so sunscreen is still important. When you put on sunscreen, you should use about as much as would fill a shot glass, and for the face, as much as the size of a small marble. Once you’re outside, you have to reapply sunscreen about every two hours – even the sweat-proof and water-proof varieties. To keep out the most harmful rays, be sure to choose a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher and includes ingredients to protect against UVA, which is long-wave ultraviolet light. Those include avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
Because it’s so associated with puberty and high school, acne can be especially problematic for adults. And there are many potential causes for breakouts. Much of the problem comes down to oil overproduction. That can come from stress, which encourages hormone releases that produce oil. It can also come from long-term exposure to the sun, which encourages the skin to produce more and more oil. Even dairy products can encourage the production of an oil that blocks pores and causes acne. To avoid acne, don’t wash your face more than twice a day. Use cool or warm water and a gentle facecloth – even a baby cloth. Then, don’t rub your face dry, but pat it with a towel. You can also use a facial cleanser that gets rid of dirt and grime you may not even be able to see. Avoiding stress and the sun can help prevent acne. Other strategies include eating foods rich in omega-3s. Clinical studies have shown that omega-3s can cut down on the production of that oil. And avoiding processed foods can assist in getting rid of acne. Studies suggest that these foods, heavy in sugars and carbohydrates, slow the process. Spending time on the skin may not seem at first blush like the most masculine activity, but giving a little thought to its care and the treatment of problems can make a big difference in both health and appearance.