Bald can be bold and bald can be beautiful – but bald also comes with the need to take care of the head in a different kind of way. This can mean caring for the skin; it can mean managing the balding process; or it can mean working to reverse it. Any and all of these possibilities are real and no one will fault a person for taking any direction they choose with their baldness. But, we at TSLMS want to make sure that we are here to help all the bald men and the practitioners that are caring for them.
I can show it, I can hide it the choices abound
it is my head, my own little crown.
It shines in the sun and glows in the night
I could even paint it, oh what a fright.
My baldhead shows age, wisdom and might.
A lifetime of living written above
my bald head is mine to have and to love.
4/7/2007, – Jim Milks
There are plenty of strong, handsome, rugged, sexy men who sport a bald head. Well manicured and central to their appearance, the baldness is attractive. Iconic bald men include those listed by GQ (now slightly outdated) as the 100 Most Powerful Bald Men In The World and Hollywood.com’s 20 Hot Bald Guys. Names on these lists include people like:
- LL Cool J
- Vin Diesel
- Bruce Willis
- Terry Bradshaw
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Some of these men are smooth and shiny on top and some have more than just a receding hairline, but all have in common that they are considered bald and beautiful. In fact, there are studies that back up the bald-is-sexy-on-men stereotype. Publications as diverse as Readers Digest and Psychology Today have reported on what science accepts as fact. There is something that is deeply attractive about men who are bald. They are “seen as smart, dominant, and just plain sexy” as Maxim headlined.
For those men who embrace the shine and go for being bald proudly, dermatologists among us will remind everyone that dry scalps can be cared for with dandruff shampoo, moisturizers and sunscreen. So, if you go with bald, just remember that there is a big open patch of exposed skin that is in direct aim of cancer causing and photoaging inducing UV rays – the top of your head. This absolutely requires thought and the right skincare on a daily basis. Additionally, have your head examined regularly by a dermatologist who will immediately recognize any signs of disease.
Treating Bald Heads For Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases we see. An incredible one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lives, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. The risk is well established by the National Institutes of Health:
We examined the association between male-pattern baldness and risk of incident skin cancer, including invasive melanoma, invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in a prospective analysis, based on 36,032 participants from the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study. In 1992, participants reported their status of male-pattern baldness at age 45 years by choosing from five crown-view pictograms based on Norwood’s classification. Diagnosis of skin cancers was reported biennially and information on melanoma and SCC was pathologically confirmed. We identified 327 melanoma cases, 1324 SCC cases, and 8438 BCC cases during the follow-up. Male-pattern baldness was not significantly associated with risk of incident melanoma, but was significantly associated with increased risk of SCC and BCC. The multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) (95% confidence interval, CI) for the highest category of baldness (frontal plus severe vertex baldness) was 1.33 (1.06–1.68) for SCC (Ptrend=0.001) and 1.23 (1.12–1.35) for BCC(Ptrend<0.0001), compared with no baldness. Analyses by body sites found significant associations between frontal plus moderate to severe vertex baldness and risk of melanoma (HR=1.83, 95% CI: 1.01–3.34) and SCC (HR=1.30, 95% CI: 1.02–1.66) at head and neck. The associations were particularly stronger for scalp melanoma (HR=7.15, 95% CI: 1.29–39.42) and scalp SCC (HR=7.09, 95% CI: 3.84–13.08), but not for non-scalp head and neck sites. Information on body sites was not available for BCC. In conclusion, male pattern baldness may be associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, but the associations may only exist for those occurring at the head and neck, particularly at scalp.
All of us recognize that there is a likelihood for increased cancer risk for our bald headed patients and clients. And if this occurs it needs to be treated aggressively. There are precautions that can be taken to prevent this – such as wearing a hat and applying sunscreen, but in the event that cancer develops it must be treated right away.
Using Lasers To Help Baldness Issues
The University of Wisconsin has an amazing web page that illustrates how laser treatment is effective against skin cancer. It is worth reading in its entirety here. The same technology, applied just a little bit differently, can help people who are not yet ready to go bald reverse the trend.
When faced with alopecia people have the option of trying laser treatments. These treatments, as defined by the American Academy of Dermatology, help a lot of people every year reverse their hair loss and grow new hair. They are very popular with men who believe they will be better off with hair than without it.