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How Bald Men can Protect Their Scalp From the Sun

Men who are bald or who have bald spots or thinning hair or even a receding hairline have to be especially careful in the summer months when the sun is beating down to ensure that their scalp is adequately protected. The scalp is particularly vulnerable to both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun, and this is especially the case for those with a minimum of hair on their heads. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that more than 90% of malignant skin cancer is due to excessive exposure to the sun with little if any SPF protection.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and it shows up as a number on the sunscreen bottle such as SPF 15, SPF 30 and SPF 40. The SPF number will let you know how much protection you will receive from UVB rays which are the light rays from the sun that are most damaging to skin, both on a short term as well as long term basis. UVA rays are harmful as well as they can encourage the development of cancer and they cause wrinkles on the skin. To be as well protected as possible, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains the ingredient avobenzone (Parsol 1789) or zinc oxide.

How much sunscreen is necessary?

It is highly unlikely that you would ever overdo an application of sunscreen. As a general rule of thumb, apply approximately a teaspoon to your head and neck and then apply another teaspoon to your bare scalp and ears. Sunscreen must be reapplied to be effective so reapply every two to four hours that you spend outdoors and more often if you are in the water.

Hats are where it’s at

A bare scalp and thinning hair requires a hat for added protection. Always choose a hat with a wide brim all around that will protect your head, neck, sides of your face and your ears. A baseball hat will protect the top of your head but not the rest of it. The fabric of the hat makes a difference too. Choose a fabric that has a tight weave and therefore will not make it easy for light to penetrate through it.

Pay attention to your scalp

Be your own skin specialist on a regular basis by doing an inspection of your scalp as well as your ears and neck on a consistent basis to check for any suspicious, bumps, lumps, growths or moles. Be particularly wary of moles that are more than one color and those that are raised or are asymmetrical in shape or ones that have irregularities in the borders and finally those that are as wide as, if not wider than a the eraser on the end of a pencil. If you find any of these then schedule a visit to your doctor right away. It might be wise to have a yearly check up for moles with your doctor or dermatologist, not just on your scalp but your entire body.

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