Beneath the Surface

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5 Dermatologic Conditions that Impact Men Differently

Many dermatologic conditions impact men and women differently. For Men’s Health Week, we’re highlighting the unique challenges men face when dealing with five common conditions of the hair, skin, and nails.

Melanoma

Not only are men more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma  – 1 in 27 men will develop this cancer in his lifetime vs 1 in 40 women –  they are also more likely to die from this aggressive form of skin cancer. Men are less likely to apply sunscreen than women. Recent research also shows that men’s skin appears to be more vulnerable to UV rays and less able to heal after overexposure to the sun compared to that of their female counterparts.

Using appropriate sun protection and getting annual skin screenings by a dermatologist are essential in reducing risk. If an unusual spot or mole does appear, it’s critical to have it examined immediately.

Athlete’s Foot

Men are more prone to develop this irritating fungal infection than women. While athlete’s foot isn’t likely to be dangerous, it can become difficult to treat, especially if it spreads to the crotch or underarms. Fortunately, prescription medications are available to safely and quickly eliminate the problem.

Moisture and exposure are the enemies when it comes to athlete’s foot. Keeping feet as dry as possible is critical to preventing this itchy problem. It’s particularly important to change socks immediately if they do become wet. It’s also crucial to cover feet whenever in a communal changing or showering area – flip flops or shower shoes are a must-have item in every man’s gym bag.

Androgenic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness

Both men and women can experience hair loss as they age, but the problem is significantly more common in males. We don’t know why men are more likely to lose their hair as they age, and it’s difficult to predict who will experience the problem. It’s likely a combination of genetics and environment.

Even though male pattern baldness is not physically dangerous, it still has a dramatic impact on self-esteem and body image. Fortunately, there are treatments available, both over the counter and in prescription form. Board-certified dermatologists are experts in hair disorders as well as those of the skin and nails and can help determine what treatments are appropriate for any type of hair loss issue.

Acne

Acne plagues both genders but presents more severely in young men. Generally, this is attributed to larger sebaceous glands and the presence of more testosterone. There are a variety of treatments available today to tackle acne of all types and severities. It is important to note that clearing up the skin can take time – it may be 3 months or longer before results become apparent.

Rosacea

More than just a red face, rosacea is a complicated disorder that comes in four primary forms, each with differing symptoms. Men are more than twice as likely women to develop phymatous rosacea. This type of rosacea is characterized by red, bumpy skin with a thickening texture – especially on the nose. In men, rosacea becomes more complicated because shaving can aggravate symptoms. And, the characteristic red, bulbous nose that comes with this subtype is often falsely attributed to excess drinking.

Working with a dermatologist, patients are often able to minimize the symptoms of rosacea. Typically this involves identifying and avoiding environmental triggers and establishing a skin care and treatment regimen. If symptoms are severe, thickened skin can be removed by a dermatologic surgeon.

A Quick and Discrete Way To Get Professional Help

With DermatologistOnCall, you can get a diagnosis and treatment plan – as well as ongoing help managing your condition – from a board-certified dermatologist quickly and privately online. Patients simply log in to DermatologistOnCall.com, answer a few questions about their health, and upload pictures of the affected area of their skin. The entire visit takes only a few minutes to complete and can be done at any time and from anywhere. Whether you’re seeking a new diagnosis or need help managing your condition, you can get started right now.

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