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    Does your practice serve men’s skin needs?

    Tips for Father’s Day and beyond

    As Father’s Day approaches, we think about all of the fathers, grandfathers, godfathers, stepfathers, and other caring men in our lives. But how often do we see those men that we care about at a dermatologist’s office?

    The men that you and your patients know in your community may be vastly underserved for their skin health needs. If you’re like the average dermatologist, you probably see more female than male patients. Evidence for this is anecdotal, but considering that men are 24% less likely than women to have seen any doctor in the last year, it seems like that might go extra for dermatologists.

    This is especially concerning, because men have been found to be particularly in need of a derm’s guidance and care! Only 34% of men wear sunscreen, according to one study. Another study found that 70% of men didn’t know the warning signs of skin cancer. And men over 50 are twice as likely as women to develop and die of melanoma.

    But there’s hope! Men’s awareness and interest in dermatology is growing. Men’s skincare products have grown to a $3.2 billion market. And cosmetic procedures done for men grew by more than 106% from 1997-2012 - with the top ones growing 273% since then!

    You can help to nurture this increasing understanding, and to build your practice by helping more patients, with marketing and outreach that’s specifically aimed at the men in your community. Some men need to be informed and reassured that skin conditions are meaningful health problems that should be addressed! It’s a bit sad that in our culture we still have to normalize self-care, particularly for men, but you can do your part.

    Enlist your female patients in helping the men that they care about take better care of themselves. Offer a referral program, if possible, that rewards both current and new patient for referrals.

    Men should not - but often do - underestimate the seriousness of skin conditions, or resign themselves to life with discomfort. Some can be extremely serious in themselves, like melanoma or psoriasis, and others can be suggestive of underlying issues - like hair thinning suggesting thyroid malfunction, or skin darkening as a symptom of Addison’s disease or insulin resistance.

    Additionally, men may not realize that they can come to a dermatologist for help with a wide variety of aesthetic concerns. Remind them that they can get help for everything from aging skin to adult acne, to hair issues, like dandruff, baldness, or unwanted hair. They shouldn’t be ashamed of wanting to look their best!

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