Question: How should men be taking care of their skin in their 40s, 50s and what issues should they be looking out for?
Answer: As men get into their 40s and 50s, they've experienced more sun exposure as they age, and with increased sun exposure, you actually get an increased chance of pre-skin cancers and skin cancers. So the first thing I would say is that this might be the time, particularly for those patients with fair skin, a family history of skin cancer or those who have had a lot of sun exposure over the years, it might be time to check in with a dermatologist and just make sure there isn't anything concerning with your skin in terms of any skin cancers because that's when you start seeing more of them.
In terms of actual skin care the important thing is, I would say the most important thing is that you need to limit the amount of sun exposure you have and one good way of doing that is wearing broad-spectrum sunscreens --- sunscreens that cover UVA rays and UVB. I think it's important to point out when you look at the SPF factor with sunscreens that's only protection for UVB rays, but UVA rays contribute to skin aging. So you want to have both of those in your sunscreen. You want to, to the extent that you're outdoors or if you're sweating, you want to reapply the sunscreen and be generous with your use of it, in order to maximize the benefits of it because again, as you get into your 40s and 50s, you've accumulated a lot of sun damage over the years and by limiting the sun exposure by wearing strong sunscreens, you're going to protect your skin more effectively.
The other thing is wearing baseball hats, particularly if your hair is starting to thin, is a great way to avoid any kind again of skin cancer issues or pre-skin cancer issues on the scalp. That's a problem we see with dermatologists with our patients very frequently.
And if you are a smoker, you need to stop. There are a lot of good medical reasons to stop smoking but certainly in terms of your skin, there is premature aging and premature wrinkling associated with smoking among all the other terrible things that smoking does.
So those would be the most important things to do for skin care for men in their 40s and 50s.