Health & Fitness » 5 Indications A Grooming Problem Might Be A Medical Concern

5 Indications A Grooming Problem Might Be A Medical Concern

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(Atlanta, GA) -- While many African-Americans celebrate the old adage, "black don't crack," black will burn, and can lead to devastating bouts of skin cancer.

Men's typical grooming routines are quick and straightforward: a daily shower and shave, a comb through the hair, and a clipper to the nails when needed. However, according to Paul W. Wallace, M.D., a dermatologist specializing in ethnic skin care and the medical half of the Bump Patrol Smooth Crew, if a man notices a change to his nails, hair or skin, it should give him pause.

Dr. Wallace, who is an attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Medical Chairman of the National Psoriasis Foundation, recommends that men make a special visit to their dermatologist beyond the recommended annual skin exam if they notice any of these five skin, hair or nail issues:

  1. When NAILS show a change in texture or shape, it could be an early sign of arthritis or dietary deficiency. A change in color, be it a small dot or change to the whole nail, could be a sign of a fungus, which should be addressed early to prevent nail-root involvement. It could also be a sign of melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin disease. For African-American men, melanoma is found most often under the fingernail or toenail.
  2. When HAIR unexpectedly changes in texture, color or rate of hair loss, it could indicate underlying medical issues. Hair can serve as a window to the general health of an individual and provide an early warning of medical problems, such as thyroid disease or vitiligo.
  3. When the SCALP feels tender to touch or grooming, it is not normal. If it becomes pink, red or white (depigmented), feels soft or lumpy, or develops bumps, pustules or sores, visit a dermatologist.
  4. When the BEARD feels overly irritated, has unexpected hair loss or changes in texture, shaving might not be the cause. However, when bumps or whiteheads go untreated, shaving could exacerbate the problem.
  5. When a MOLE changes in size, color or shape, it could be a warning sign of evolving skin cancer. Also, when a mole experiences any trauma, bleeding, pain or constant itch, a dermatologist should examine it. Even the darkest-pigmented skin runs the risk of skin cancer.

Aside from the obvious health advantages to early detection of diseases, early intervention could also save hair and nails and minimize scarring.

While keeping these five signs in mind, Dr. Wallace suggests that men also reexamine their basic grooming routines and make simple adjustments where needed. For example, a proper shave - which includes everything from the direction of shaving to the aftershave used - can prevent irritation in the first place. He recommends products that calm and treat the skin with the help of anti-inflammatories, antiseptics, humectants and emollients, like Bump Patrol's aftershave formulas. "Without irritation, there's no inflammation," he explains. "And without inflammation, there's no threat of razor bumps that could become infected."

For more information on Dr. Wallace and proper shaving techniques, visit

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