Routine skin checks are often sidelined regarding healthcare priorities, especially for women over 50 who are generally more preoccupied with other pressing health issues such as osteoporosis, heart health, or menopause.
However, neglecting your skin can have grave repercussions, as skin conditions and cancers are more prevalent in older adults. This article outlines why routine skin checks are crucial for women in this age group and the benefits they can offer.
The Rising Incidence of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is among the most common forms of cancer in the United States. The risk of developing skin cancer increases with age, making routine skin checks all the more important for women over 50.
According to the American Cancer Society, the average age at the time of melanoma diagnosis is 65 (source). The risk is heightened for those with a family history of skin cancer, fair skin, and excessive sun exposure over a lifetime.
Early Detection is Key
The sooner a skin issue is identified, the easier it is to treat. Early detection of skin cancers like melanoma can lead to a 98% five-year survival rate.
The Skin Cancer Foundation states that early detection of melanoma has a 5-year survival rate of 99% (source). On the contrary, if melanoma is detected later, the survival rate can plummet to as low as 25%.
Skin Aging and Associated Issues
With age, the skin undergoes various changes, such as thinning, dryness, and loss of elasticity. These factors can make older skin susceptible to non-cancerous but troublesome conditions like age spots, broken blood vessels, and lesions.
According to the National Institute on Aging, as we grow older, our skin becomes more vulnerable to various issues, from age spots to broken blood vessels (source).
Regular Checks Aid in Tracking Changes
By maintaining a schedule for routine skin checks, you can track changes over time, making it easier to identify abnormalities or new growths that may require attention.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that in addition to professional skin exams, individuals should perform regular self-examinations to spot any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous (source).
Emotional and Psychological Benefits
Knowing you are proactive in monitoring your skin health can bring emotional relief and psychological benefits. A regular skin check schedule ensures you take preventive measures against potential skin problems.
Regular skin checks provide peace of mind, knowing you are actively participating in preventive healthcare, thus reducing anxiety over potential skin issues.
Routine skin checks are an invaluable preventive measure for women over 50. As the risk of skin conditions and cancers increases with age, early detection through regular checks can be a lifesaver. Your skin is a lifetime investment; make sure to give it the attention it deserves.