We know skin cancer is a bummer of a topic, but here’s the deal. Summer’s coming, and a lot of you are going to be jumping into it full force - days out in the yard, days at the beach, and more. For those of you that live in warmer climates, it’s an all year concern. We don’t take nearly as good care of ourselves as we should in general, and this goes double when it comes to protecting our skin. So listen up folks. There’s some hard lessons coming, but it’s only because we care about you.
This one is simple - SPF. We'll say that again... SPF. It’s short for Sun Protection Factor. Most dermatologists say that an SPF of 30 is sufficient, but it’s not just that. Sunscreen is baked into all sorts of products & not all of them are useful. Stick with suntan lotion, and don’t buy cheap ass knock off brands either. Spend a little extra and get a reputable water-resistant SPF 30 lotion. Follow the directions. Put it on a little in advance of when you’re going to be out in the sun - 15-30 minutes or so. And don’t forget the weird places - your ears and the tops of your feet for example. Reapply if you go swimming or sweat your ass off, even if the lotion is water-resistant.
Another important thing to keep in mind: limit your time in the sun. I know it feels awesome, and soakin’ up all that vitamin D is good for you (how on earth does the sun get vitamin D anyhow?). But it’s a basic fact that too much time in the sun can be bad for you. Move to the shade once in a while, or head inside for a bit. It’s the perfect time to grab a glass of water - rehydrating will help you feel better & avoid over heating.
While we’re at it – don’t forget to protect your eyes with UV blocking sunglasses.
Here's a great chart that gives you a heads up what to look for.
We’ve got you thinking now, don’t we? Good. You need to pay attention to shit like this. Every couple of weeks just scan your body. It’s your body, you should know what it looks like anyhow. If you see any unusual moles or dark spots, take a closer look at them, and keep an eye on them in the future. If they start to get larger, or if any of your other males become irregular, that may be an indication of skin cancer. What do you do then?
Get your ass to a good dermatologist. Don’t have one? Why the hell not? EVERY man should have the following doctors in their lives on a regular basis: GP/General Practitioner (your “normal” doctor for check-ups and treating the standard stuff), Dentist (get those teeth cleaned twice a year and floss daily, for god’s sake), and a Dermatologist. Our dermatologist recommends visits once a year to keep an eye on things.
Your dermatologist will do a complete visual body scan. They’ll likely take pictures of anything that looks out of the ordinary to them, and may even do a biopsy if needed. If they find anything to worry about, you’ll be back for another visit, and they’ll probably freeze the little bugger, or surgically remove it using local anesthesia. After that, hopefully you’re all set.
Don’t ignore it if you think you see something weird. Seriously. Skin cancer caught early is a ridiculously simple thing to deal with, but not treated it can be deadly.
We're not doctors, even if we’ve fooled around with a stethoscope and a thermometer. Please don’t send us pics asking if some funky mole on your body is something to worry about.
We’re just trying to make you aware. Burly Stone is here to make you look good. Our soaps & hand balms are meant for your skin, so we have a vested interest in making sure you take care of it. But that doesn’t mean you should go all bonkers and never step foot outside unless you’re covered head to toe. No one wants to hang out with that person. All we’re asking is that you be sensible. Wear sunscreen, limit your time in the sun, check your body for anything weird every few weeks, and visit your dermatologist once a year.
Your skin, and we, will thank you for it.
Thanks - and remember, Be Burly.
*All statistics courtesy of skincancer.org
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