Fatherly.com / Dr. Peterson Pierre

Men’s Skin Cancer Rates Dwarf Those of Women. Toxic Masculinity Is to Blame.

August 4, 2021

Men are much more likely than women to die from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. Non-Hispanic white boys and men aged 15 to 39 are more than twice as likely to die from skin cancer compared to women of the same age and race. By age 65, men are twice as likely to develop melanoma, and by the time they’re 80, they have triple the risk.

The reason is both biological and cultural, says Peterson Pierre, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles, California. Cisgender men have more collagen and elastin, which makes their skin thicker with less fat underneath compared to cis women. This difference in biological makeup makes most men more vulnerable to the sun. “Research has shown that men’s skin reacts more unfavorably to ultraviolet radiation than women’s, which means that the skin becomes more damaged,” Pierre says.

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