Back to Living Better

5 healthy feet tips for men

Men aren’t usually concerned with the look, feel or smell of their feet.  But with flip-flop season just around the corner, it’s important to file those ‘bear claws’ and establish good grooming rituals to whip those talons into shape.

Graham Bahnson, DPM, a podiatrist at Piedmont, shares five easy ways men can maintain the health and appearance of their feet.

1. Change your socks daily. Feet get sweaty during the day, so it’s important to change your socks once or twice a day to prevent excessive perspiration.

Some men develop hyperhidrosis, a condition where the feet sweat so much they may slip around inside the shoes. This condition can cause foot infections and foot odor.

“Wearing cotton and other fibers that breath, and applying the antiperspirant aluminum hexahydrate to your feet can be very effective in controlling perspiration,” says Dr. Banhson.

2. Wash your feet with soap and water.

“I advise patients to wash their feet with soap and water daily to control or prevent tinea pedis or athlete’s foot,” says Dr. Bahnson. “This is a very common condition, especially for men who typically wear shoes that don’t breathe as well as women’s shoes do.”

Athlete’s foot is a scaly, itchy, and occasionally painful rash that spreads along the toes or the soles of the feet. The skin can occasionally blister and it is highly contagious.

“When I see patients for this condition I will often suggest either oral or topical anti-fungal medications,” says Dr. Bahnson. “I also tell them to spray the inside of their shoes with Lysol regularly.”

3. Thoroughly dry your feet. After washing your feet, it’s important to focus on drying the areas between the toes. You can apply lotion, but don’t put it between the toes because it can cause skin or tissue breakdown and ulceration.

4. Cut toenails straight across.  Sterilize your toenail clipper with a little rubbing alcohol and make a few small cuts. Don’t try to cut the whole nail at once and don’t dig at the corners of your toenails.  Simply cut straight across, leaving the nails a little long.

“Cutting shorter than this can predispose the nail plate to additional infection or weakening,” says Dr. Bahnson.

It’s also important to cut nails when they are dry. Wet nails may tear or bend because they are softer.

5. Don’t hack into your foot to solve a problem.

“Men take a more hands-on approach to managing a benign foot issue, says Dr. Bahnson. “They are more likely to engage in ‘bathroom surgery.’”

Instead of removing pieces of your own flesh, try treating calluses with a pumice stone or put accommodative padding in your shoe.

Nail fungus can be sometimes treated by removing part of the nail (debridement), or with an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication specifically for nails.

“Alternatively patients can use Vick’s vapor rub or apply Listerine to the nail plates daily to get rid of nail fungus,” says Dr. Bahnson.

And blisters should be left alone. If a blister has torn, cleanse the area with soap and water, leave the skin flap in place, and apply antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage.

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

 

Related Stories

Schedule your appointment online