2020 has been a tumultuous year, to say the least, and probably not one we’re going to look back on particularly fondly.
One thing this year has given us the chance to do, however, is to take stock of what’s really important: family, friends, making sure your wardrobe’s filled with baggy jeans…
Chief among those crucial concerns is our health. “No sh*t,” we can hear you saying, but we’re not just talking about avoiding The Bat Kiss. 2020 has also shone a spotlight on how important other aspects of our health are, including our physical and mental wellbeing.
But another aspect to our health that we should be paying more attention to – now more than ever – is our skin. With winter finally on its way out and spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to be paying attention to our body’s largest organ (we know what you’re thinking).
Jimmy Niggles, owner of Australia’s ‘most expensive beard’ and founder of Beard Season, shared a touching image today which further reinforces the importance of getting regular skin checks.
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“We met Mitch after a Sydney Swans game a while back and he’s been following our work ever since,” Niggles shared.
“Thankfully too, because after finding a suss looking spot just under his eye, he pushed his doctor to do a biopsy, which letter showed it to be a fairly nasty form of skin cancer known as a squamous cell carcinoma. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to treat, and Mitch is now good and well. Keen to cheer on the Swannies again.”
Beard Season is a not-for-profit charity championing the early detection of melanoma – “Australia’s national cancer”. They’ve cleverly rebranded winter as ‘beard season’: an opportunity for men to grow out their bumfluff and then use themselves as ruggedly handsome billboards for early detection, to inspire friends and family to get skin checks. Think of it like the World’s Greatest Shave except for melanoma instead of leukemia, and about growing hair instead of chopping it off.
With this week being the last week of ‘beard season’, Niggles’ sharing of Mitch’s story can’t come at a better time.
The reality is that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in Australia, and about two in three Australians will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70, according to the Cancer Council. This shockingly high number is a result of how outdoorsy the Aussie lifestyle is, how great our weather conditions are, and how most parts of Australia have high levels of UV radiation all year round.
Aussie men are often guilty of not being proactive about their own health. It’s hard to ignore a broken leg or getting coronavirus, but skin cancer isn’t something that’s at the forefront of most of our minds. We need to push each other to take better care of our skin – particularly, as Mitch’s example shows, how easy it is for even medical professionals to dismiss something as ‘just a mole’.
Spring is the perfect time to get ahead of the curve and make sure your skin’s all good before summer rolls around.