Cut, colour, and a skin cancer screening? A new study published on Monday states that hairstylists could be an untapped resource when it comes to spotting melanomas on their clients’ scalp and neck.
The study, published in the journal Archives of Dermatology, finds that many hairstylists already check their clients’ scalp, neck, and face for signs of skin cancer, with more than half of them recommending that a client seek a doctor regarding a suspicious mole. While the stylists lack proper health training, the researchers suggest that this could change, paving the way for possible early detection of deadly cancer.
"This study provides evidence that hair professionals are currently acting as lay health advisors for skin cancer detection and prevention and are willing to become more involved in skin cancer education in the salon," researcher Dr. Elizabeth E. Bailey, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health in the US, and colleagues wrote in the report.
In the study, research-ers surveyed 203 hairdressers from 17 salons in a single chain in the Houston, Texas, area. Researchers found that 37 percent of the hairstylists said they checked more than 50 percent of their clients’ scalps for moles or lesions, with 58 percent recommending at least once that a client see a health professional regarding a mole.
"Future research should focus on creating a program that provides hair professionals expert training and effective health communication tools to become confident and skilled lay skin cancer educators," the researchers wrote. Experts also advise thorough skin check up when you go for your regular health examination.
(With inputs from Relaxnews)
Protect yourself from mAvoid too much exposure to ultra violet rays. Don’t face direct sun rays between 10 am to 4 pm.
Wear protective garments, such as a brimmed hat to shade your eyes and face. Wear fabrics that have a tight weave that bounce away sun light.
Do not step out of your house unless you have applied a sunscreen that has a SPF of at least 15.
Avoid excessive tanning of your skin. Get your skin examined when you go for your regular health checkups.