Can Tattoo Artists Help Spot Skin Cancer?
Tattoos have become hugely popular over the past few decades. Those who choose to get them do so for many reasons. To relive memories, memorialize someone special or show pride in something are just a few. Regardless, the reason we care about tattoos is with regard to how they relate to skin health. Which isn’t surprising, considering we’re a skin health care blog.
Melanoma is the worst form of skin cancer. The quicker it’s discovered and diagnosed, the better the chance that a person will survive; or even be cured. The one good thing about it is when Melanoma strikes, it’s nice enough to be one of the few cancers that give us advance notice.
It’s usually easy to spot a new, discolored, irregularly-shaped blemish or mole that suddenly appears on your skin. If one manifests underneath a layer of applied ink however, catching it can be much more difficult. By the time a Melanoma concealed by a tattoo is discovered, it may very well be too late. So how do we lesson the risks of this occurring? By using the best weapon against skin cancer the general public has to wield- education.
We won’t bog you down with statistics, but suffice it to say a significant percentage of both tattoo artists and their clients currently don’t take skin cancer much into consideration. Many clients ask to simply have moles tattooed right over, and the artists oblige them.
Tattoo artists aren’t doctors, nor should we expect them to be. However, even a short time spent with a dermatologist learning about what Melanomas look like before forever burying one under paint could easily save a life. Oh, and these artists are not the only non-medical professionals looking to step up their skin cancer game.
There has been a recent increase countrywide in hair stylists helping to combat skin cancer. If a Melanoma forms beneath our hair it’s almost impossible for the person him or herself to spot. What some hair stylists have been doing is informing their clients when they come across a suspicious-looking skin blemish. What a client then does with the information us up to him or her. But non-medical professionals like hair stylists and tattoo artists who volunteer to train on what skin cancer looks like would be a major victory for the cause of skin cancer awareness.
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