Men’s Skin Health – What You Should Know

By Matthew Trautman, PA-C
Certified Physician Assistant

Men’s Health Month takes place in June to foster awareness about preventable health issues and promote timely detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and depression. By adopting a proactive approach and embracing a healthy lifestyle, men can significantly reduce their risk of various health problems, enhance their well-being, and nurture a superior quality of life.

In observance, we are taking this opportunity to discuss the unique skin-related challenges men encounter and what they can do to keep their skin healthy.

Three Things Men can do for the Health of Their Skin

Screenings – Be sure you are up to date on all cancer exams. We recommend a yearly visit with your Board-Certified Dermatologist to screen for atypical lesions, skin cancer, and melanoma. Most cancers are easily treated if identified early; skin cancer is one of the best examples. Our Providers at Bend Dermatology Clinic are diligent about diagnosing and treating skin cancers. When identified early, treatment can be as simple as cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), shaving, or excision to remove a mildly atypical lesion.

In addition, we also recommend a yearly visit with your Primary Care Provider to get a complete physical, including general labs and screenings for high cholesterol, colon cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid abnormalities, and mental health, as needed.

Prevention – Protecting your skin from harmful UV exposure has a two-fold benefit – it is known to cause skin cancer and early skin aging. Use sunscreen DAILY by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make it a part of your daily morning routine, and do not skip this step regardless of the weather or time of the year. A common complaint for avoiding sunscreen is because of its greasy nature or difficulty in application due to product thickness or feel. However, there are options that can be applied as easily as a lotion while still providing excellent protection from harmful sun rays. Also, avoid using tanning beds, as they are just as dangerous.

Lifestyle – We often don’t think about how nutrition or lifestyle affects our skin, but it plays a vital role in skin health and overall health. Here are some basics you can start working on now:

  1. Adequate hydration: Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from within. This helps maintain skin elasticity and a healthy appearance.
  2. Balanced diet: Consume a nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Incorporate foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, spinach, and green tea, as they can help protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals.
  3. Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: Smoking can accelerate skin aging and restrict blood flow, leading to a dull complexion. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption can dehydrate the skin and contribute to inflammation.
  4. Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact your skin. Practice stress management techniques like exercise, meditation, or hobbies to promote healthier skin.
  5. Get enough sleep: Aim for an adequate amount of sleep each night. During sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates the skin. Insufficient sleep can lead to dullness, fine lines, and dark circles.
  6. Avoid excessive touching of the face: Touching your face frequently can transfer dirt, bacteria, and oils, potentially leading to breakouts and skin irritation. Keep your hands clean and avoid unnecessary contact with your face.

Remember, everyone’s skin is unique, so it’s essential to listen to your skin’s needs and consult with one of our Providers for personalized advice if you have specific concerns.

Skin Concerns Men Face

The following are skin concerns men typically deal with and some ways to manage these concerns:

  • Acne: Men often experience acne breakouts, both on their face and their body, due to hormonal changes, excess oil production, or poor skincare habits. Washing daily and using a mild skin cleanser is effective. Consult with your Dermatologist for suggestions on different topical medicines that you can use to treat your acne. In-office treatments, such as laser treatments and chemical peels, can be very effective.
  • Razor Burn: Shaving can lead to razor burn, causing redness, irritation, and ingrown hairs. The American Academy of Dermatology has some great men’s skin care tips, including shaving tips to avoid razor burn.
  • Dry Skin: Men’s skin tends to be oilier, but dryness can still occur, especially during colder months or due to excessive cleansing. Use a light moisturizer once a day or as needed in extra dry spots.
  • Sun Damage: Exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to premature aging, sunspots, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Wrinkles and Fine Lines: Aging affects men’s skin as well, leading to wrinkles and fine lines, particularly around the eyes and forehead. Sun protection is essential in preventing early aging. BOTOX® Cosmetic and fillers are effective ways to treat these signs of aging. Microneedling and chemical peels are also great non-invasive treatments for men.
  • Hyperpigmentation: Dark spots or patches may appear on the skin due to factors such as sun damage, acne scars, or hormonal changes. The Fraxel® DUAL laser is excellent for sunspots, wrinkles, scars, and sagging skin.
  • Dark Circles: Men can develop dark circles under their eyes due to genetics, lack of sleep, stress, or poor blood circulation.
  • Ingrown Hairs: Shaving, especially against the grain, can result in ingrown hairs, causing red bumps and discomfort. Laser hair removal treatments can be a consideration for some.
  • Eczema and Psoriasis: Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can affect men, leading to redness, itching, and flaky skin. Your Provider can put together a specialized plan for you depending on your condition that can help keep your flare-ups to a minimum.
  • Texture: Men’s skin can sometimes have a rough texture due to the buildup of dead skin cells, lack of exfoliation, or environmental factors.

When your skin is healthy, it provides a protective barrier that decreases many of the symptoms or concerns listed here. Additionally, sun protection will also help prevent these concerns. For men who need additional help with different skin concerns, schedule an appointment with a Dermatology Provider to determine the correct regimen for you.

What is an Effective Skin Routine for Men?

Men’s skin care routines can be as intricate or straightforward as they wish. Overall, I do not recommend extensive multi-step treatment regimens for most men’s skin concerns. Instead, ensure you have the basics – a morning moisturizer, sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, a gentle cleanser at night, and a nighttime moisturizer.

No cleansing is typically necessary in the morning and might dry your skin. If you want to be time efficient, there are moisturizers with sunscreen for the morning routine, followed by whatever specific skin concern treatment you may be using. All men should have a gentle cleanser to use every evening, followed by a light nighttime moisturizer. When evaluating your routine, ask yourself if you are doing all you can to prevent cancer and early aging.

We cannot stress enough the importance of using sun protection. People tend to remember sunscreen on days they are out in the sun, but it is forgotten on a regular day. The trick is to do it EVERY DAY. Lastly, if you are spending time outside, we recommend you use a wide-brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses for your eyes, lip balm with SPF, and avoid being outside during peak UV hours (the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)

Importance of Monthly Skin Self-Exams for Men

Monthly skin self-exams are important for men because men are at a higher risk of developing life-threatening melanoma. The American Cancer Society estimates that of the 7,990 people expected to die of melanoma in the U.S. in 2023, 5,420 will be men. The rates of melanoma have been rising significantly over the previous decades. Studies have shown that people who perform self-checks are more likely to identify changes in skin and skin lesions, leading to earlier diagnoses, less aggressive treatment needed, and saved lives. Be sure to check not only places exposed to the sun but also places such as the genitals, bottoms of the feet, and axillary. Also, look at your back, as this is a common place for men to develop melanoma. You should do self-checks in a room with good lighting and take pictures of your lesions to compare changes over time. It is not advisable to do self-checks more than once a month, as it is harder to detect changes in your skin.

To learn more about skin concerns and our services in Medical and Cosmetic Dermatology, schedule a consultation online at or call 541.382.5712. We also carry various skin care products for all skin types, including sunscreen. See us at any of our six locations in East Bend, West Bend, Klamath Falls, Prineville, and Redmond.