Unlikely ally in ealy detection of melanoma

HAIRDRESSERS play an important though largely untapped role in the early detection of skin cancer, a US study suggests.

The survey of 300 Houston-area hairdressers found more than half (58%) had advised at least one customer to see their doctor for an abnormal mole on their scalp, face or neck.

Half the respondents were “very” or “extremely” interested in participating in a skin cancer education program and 69% were likely to give customers a skin cancer information pamphlet. 

“Hair professionals are currently acting as lay health advisers for skin cancer detection and prevention and are willing to become more involved in skin cancer education in the salon,” the authors wrote.

Arch Dermatol 2011; 147:1159-65