Men’s typical grooming routines are quick and straightforward: a daily shower and shave, a comb through the hair, and a clipper to the nails when needed. However, if a man notices a change to his nails, hair or skin, it should give him pause.
I recommend that men make a special visit to their dermatologist beyond the recommended annual skin exam if they notice any of these five skin, hair or nail issues:
- NAILS – show a change in texture or shape. It could be an early sign of arthritis or dietary deficiency. A change in color, be it a small dot or change to the whole nail, could be a sign of a fungus, which should be addressed early to prevent nail-root involvement. It could also be a sign of melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin disease. For African-American men, melanoma is found most often under the fingernail or toenail.
- HAIR – unexpectedly changes in texture, color or rate of hair loss. It could indicate underlying medical issues. Hair can serve as a window to the general health of an individual and provide an early warning of medical problems, such as thyroid disease or vitiligo.
- SCALP – feels tender to touch or grooming. It is not normal. If it becomes pink, red or white (depigmented), feels soft or lumpy, or develops bumps, pustules or sores, visit a dermatologist.
- BEARD – feels overly irritated, has unexpected hair loss or changes in texture. Shaving might not be the cause. However, when bumps or whiteheads go untreated, shaving could exacerbate the problem.
- MOLE – changes in size, color or shape. It could be a warning sign of evolving skin cancer. Also, when a mole experiences any trauma, bleeding, pain or constant itch, a dermatologist should examine it. Even the darkest-pigmented skin runs the risk of skin cancer.
Aside from the obvious health advantages to early detection of diseases, early intervention could also save hair and nails and minimize scarring. While keeping these five signs in mind, dermatologist suggests that men also reexamine their basic grooming routines and make simple adjustments where needed. For example, a proper shave – which includes everything from the direction of shaving to the aftershave used – can prevent irritation in the first place. He recommends products that calm and treat the skin with the help of anti-inflammatories, antiseptics, humectants and emollients, like Bump Patrol’s aftershave formulas. “Without irritation, there’s no inflammation,” he explains. “And without inflammation, there’s no threat of razor bumps that could become infected.”
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