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Men's Foot and Nail Care

What items are essential to keep your feet in tip-top shape?
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Anti-Fungal Lotions, Powders, and Sprays continued...

Wash your feet frequently and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes where the culprits typically take hold. Wear fresh socks daily.

Use an antifungal lotion or powder. Drugstores stock a wide variety of brands. Although different over-the-counter products use different active ingredients, a 2008 review in the British Journal of Dermatology says all are just about equally effective.

Look for a medicated powder or spray if you have sweaty feet, Vlahovic says. "For dry feet, go with an antifungal lotion."

Use the product every day for a month. If the itchy, burning rash persists, make an appointment to see a podiatrist or doctor. You may need a prescription strength antifungal preparation. The problem may not be athlete’s foot but a bacterial infection requiring an antibiotic. Bacterial infections are one of the leading causes of chronically smelly feet.

Dealing With Toenail Fungus

The same fungus that causes athlete’s foot can invade toenails, turning them yellow and crusty. Bad toenail infections can take a long time to eliminate.

If you come down with one, don’t waste your money on over-the-counter remedies, Vlahovic says. None has been shown to work. Topical creams and oral antifungal pills are available by prescription. 

Your best bet is still prevention. Keep toenails trimmed to avoid hangnails and ingrown toenails that can open the way for fungus invasion.

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Reviewed on November 12, 2012
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