The scalp is an often forgotten area when it comes to preventing & checking for skin cancer. We likely forget about this area of skin because we have hair that “must” be protecting our scalp from UV exposure. Funny how the sun has a sneaky way of getting here too! Melanomas on the head are particularly dangerous because of the proximity to the lymphatic and circulatory systems, so don’t overlook this area of skin!
Protect your scalp
Hair does help (especially for women), of course, but that is not enough to prevent UV exposure. It is recommended to wear hats, bonnets, scarves or other coverings when you are outside (if you are spending a lot time outside, in particular). Believe it or not, there are also products for the scalp & hair that have sunscreen in them!
Check your scalp
This can, admittedly, be really hard to do on yourself, even with a mirror. If you go to a hair salon, feel free to ask your technician to let you know of any suspicious spots. You can let him/her know the ABCDEs to look for, or just make a note to check out that spot yourself later. When you get a skin check at a dermatologist’s office, he or she should check this area as part of the exam.
Are you a Hair Dresser?
As you are washing & styling, you can also be checking your client’s scalp! I would recommend you read this story from the Orange County Register from February 2015 about a barber that helped her client find what turned out to be a melanoma! http://www.ocregister.com/articles/donahue-652260-melanoma-hunter.html