It's just as important for men to take care of their feet as it is for women.
If that's the case, why is it that men tend to wait to seek care for foot and ankle issues until the issues become severe? Avoiding medical treatment could be related to a busy schedule, concerns about cost, and even fear of the doctor's office. Men are often told to tough it out and perservere through hardships. Perserverence is a good trait to have in certain aspects of your life, but that isn't the case when it comes to your health.
Even if your feet have seen better days, the five tips laid out in this article will give you the tools to get your feet looking healthy and feeling happy. If you're not the type of person who particularly enjoys going to the doctor (I mean really, who does?) these tips will help you maintain proper foot health and avoid the issues that would require you to see a professional. Save yourself time, money, and hassle.
Practicing proper foot care is a win, win, win.
Men should take care of their feet on a daily basis to avoid odor, foot pain, infection, and more serious conditions. Avoid digging out ingrown nails or warts, keep your feet dry and wear proper socks, throw away your shoes when they become broken-down, moisturize your feet and trim your toenails regularly, and don't wait for foot problems to worsen before seeking care from a podiatrist.
1. Avoid Bathroom Surgery
While it may have a funny name, there's nothing funny about the infections that can arrise from hacking, digging, or digging at your feet or toes. I understand that it may seem easier to cut out that ingrown toenail or pesky wart on your own. If you have plantar warts, corns, or other growths, it's important to have them evaluated by a podiatrist so we can make sure the lesion isn't more serious than it may seem at the surface.
For ingrown toenails, digging out the nail may seem like the best option to give you relief, but this can actually lead to serious complications. Not only can 'bathroom surgery' on an ingrown toenail lead to infection, but it can also make the ingrown worse, making it necessary for you to come in for the appointment you were trying to avoid in the first place.
Try at-home treatments for ingrown toenails instead
- Soaking the foot in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, several times per day, with Epsom salts if you wish.
- Applying an antibiotic ointment and bandage.
- Sticking to bare feet or open-toed shoes as much as possible while the ingrown nail heals. If you must wear closed-toe shoes, try to wear those with roomy toe boxes.
2. Keep Your Feet Dry
Keeping your feet dry is an important part of preventing athlete's foot and foot odor in general. Change your socks daily, and be sure to put on a fresh pair of socks after exercising. Speaking of socks, how well do your socks wick away moisture? Cotton is the most common material for socks, but there are other options available that do a better job of keeping your feet dry. Look for synthetic materials and copper-infused threads.
After bathing, thoroughly dry your feet, focusing on the areas between your toes. Additionally, don't put shoes on when your feet are wet, and don't wear shoes that are damp inside. Dark, damp conditions make bacteria feel right at home, and bacteria leads to odors, iritation, itchiness, and athlete's foot.
Learn More: What Are the Best Socks for Athlete's Foot
3. Toss Out Your Old Shoes
I get it: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I know you think that your pair of ten-year-old New Balance sneakers is still stylish and functional, but they have probably seen better days.
How often should you replace your shoes? Experts recommend getting a new pair of daily-wear shoes every 8-12 months, sooner if there is noticable wear and tear. Athletic shoes may need to be replaced more regularly if you put in a lot of miles. Old, worn-out shoes don't support your feet the same way they did when you first bought them, so treating yourself to a new pair of clean, supportive shoes is really an investment in the health of your feet, and a smart one at that.
4. Trim Your Toenails and Moisturize Your Feet Regularly
Thick, overgrown toenails and dry or cracked heels isn't anyone's cup of tea. That's not to mention the negative side effects long toenails and callused feet can have on your health. For those with diabetes, long toenails can grow into the skin and cause wounds and abrasions. Calluses rub on the insides of your shoes, leading to blisters and discomfort.
Smooth your heels with a pumice stone and moisturize with a urea-based lotion after bathing. When you trim your toenails, which you should do every few weeks, be sure to trim them straight across to prevent ingrown nails. If you have thick, discolored toenails, you could have fungal toenails, a very common condition with several treatment options.
5. Don't Wait For Foot Problems to Worsen... Seek Help Right Away
That ache in your heel, twinge in your ankle, throbbing in your toe, or whichever bothersome ailment you've been trying to forget about, may not go away on its own. Prolonging the inevitable by not seeking professional care isn't doing you any good.
Foot problems, if left untreated, can lead to serious lifetime issues.