The 10 Most Annoying Men's Health Issues and How to Fix Them
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2016
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Hair loss. Heart disease. Prostate cancer. Guys, you certainly have your share of health concerns -- especially if you’re genetically predisposed to any particular one. And these major health issues definitely deserve some quality M.D. time. But what about the more common everyday stuff? Sure, you could just chalk them up as “life’s little annoyances,” or you can see if your doctor will squeeze you in. But if you’ve got better things to do than sit around a waiting room for a something that’s not that serious, there is another option: attempting to mend your own minor health problems. In fact, some of the usual problems can actually be nipped in the bud with a few simple tweaks. Here are 10 common men’s health issues -- with some fairly fast fixes for each.
When you cozy up under the covers with your significant other, do your deep, obstreperous rumblings rob your better half of rest? While snoring can be annoying to your bed partner, it can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, which is a potentially serious medical condition that needs to be addressed. According to Dr. Steven Lamm, M.D., clinical professor, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Robert Preston Tisch Center for Men’s Health, the simplest way to tell if you have sleep apnea is to ask your partner if you actually stop breathing during the night while snoring. If you do not have sleep apnea, Lamm suggests these quick fixes to silence your snoring: “Don’t drink alcohol before going to bed -- this is a major cause of snoring. And try sleeping on your side or stomach. Sleeping on one’s back is a common cause of snoring.” Lastly, Lamm says that a common cause of snoring is being overweight. “Talk to your doctor about the appropriate weight-loss steps,” he suggests.
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It can be truly depressing to realize that in the past you couldn’t wait to have “sexy time” with your partner, but now you’d just as soon make a quesadilla or watch an episode of “True Detective.” What’s with the lull in your libido? Dr. Lamm says, “This extremely common problem can be caused by a number of factors: stress, depression, a reaction to medicine or endurance issues.” So what’s a quick fix to get the rev back in your motor? “Exercising regularly can help boost testosterone levels, which can help amp up your sex drive. Also, just eating healthier and drinking less.” Of course, he adds, “If the problem persists, see your doctor.” Find out more about Dr. Lamm's work at NYULangone.org.
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You’re not a member of the Hair Club for Men. (Go, you!) But you may be a part of a different club: Dudes With Dry Scalp. According to research, male hormones may be the reason why men are more prone to dandruff than women. You’ve been using anti-dandruff shampoo, but you still have flakes. So what gives? It turns out that mild dandruff can be caused by not shampooing enough, so try cleansing daily with a gentle shampoo to reduce oiliness and skin-cell buildup. Have an itchy scalp? A common home remedy is adding a tablespoon of baking soda to your shampoo, which can reportedly help with dandruff as well.
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You’re probably no Tom Brady or Zac Efron, but you do get in some quality gym time, which is definitely good for your overall health. However, don’t walk around barefoot in the locker room because athlete’s foot is a highly contagious fungal infection that multiplies in areas like saunas and communal showers. And the least fun part about this fungus is that it can cause intense itching, burning and scaling on the webs of the toes and on your soles of your feet. Doctors recommend using an over-the-counter antifungal and continuing to wash and dry them completely each day.
Sure, everyone gets a few laugh lines as they age. But no one wants to look like they got slapped by Father Time. If you feel like your wrinkles are multiplying quicker than you’d like, you may be able to slow them down. Take a note from the ladies and start using moisturizer after washing your face. Follow that with some eye cream in the evening and an SPF of at least 30 in the morning. Be sure to stay hydrated: Chronic dehydration can also cause signs of aging.
If you haven’t adopted the “hipster beard” and aren’t a fan of the 5-o’clock shadow, odds are good that you’ve gotten razor burn once or twice in your adulthood. Even the most careful shaver can get burned by his trusty razor. What’s a dapper, clean-shaven fellow to do? Here’s a quick fix, according to Men’s Health: “Rub either an aloe-based cortisone cream or a soothing aftershave with vitamin E to calm your skin and reduce redness.” Easy peasy.
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There’s no better mood-killer than slipping off your shoes in the heat of the moment and realizing that a pungent, cheese-like smell is wafting noseward from your feet. It could happen to anyone, but it’s especially common when you’re stressed out (because you sweat more) or if you’re fond of wearing shoes without socks. While sweat itself has no odor, when the sweat from your feet’s 250,000 sweat glands mixes with bacteria, dead skin and oils found on the feet, it’s a stinky situation. (By the way, athlete’s foot does not cause foot odor.) To fix foot funk fast, Dr. Mark A. Kosinski, professor at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, advises a preemptive strategy on Grandparents.com. “Wash your feet thoroughly with an antibacterial soap daily, then dry your feet thoroughly.” And if you’ve already got smelly feet, he says that a tea soak is one of the most effective home remedies. “Use four or five teabags to a quart of water and allow to cool. Then soak feet for about 20 minutes each day.”
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Spending long hours in front of a computer at work can make you feel like Mr. Magoo by the time you go home. But sometimes eyestrain (tired eye muscles) isn’t the main culprit for your poor vision. According to Norwegian researchers, it could be dry eye. They discovered that people blink 10 times fewer per minute when they’re staring at a computer screen than when they’re talking to someone. Patricia Sabb, M.D., an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin, tells Men’s Health, “When you stare for longer periods of time, the outer layer of moisture on your eyeball evaporates more quickly, so your eyesight won’t be as sharp and clear.” Her solution? Take a short break and close your eyes. No need for a full-on nap, just a quick 30 to 60 seconds to replenish your eye moisture.
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If rashes, bug bites or any number of other things have your skin itching intensely, you can be tempted to scratch until you’re raw and bleeding. Not advisable. So what can you do to get the itch to stop posthaste? Christopher Dannaker, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, tells Prevention magazine, “To soothe skin instantly, spritz yourself with European mineral water -- San Pellegrino, for example.” He explains, “Studies show that mineral-rich spring water relieves pain from burns and rashes. Mist it onto irritated skin and its trace minerals will work as anti-inflammatories.” For mosquito bites, he suggests, “Crush an aspirin, add it to an ounce of water to dissolve and apply it directly to the bite. It’s an anti-inflammatory that should reduce the redness and swelling from bites or stings.”
While warts aren’t serious, they do probably evoke unpleasant imagery of witches and toads. These small, hard growths are fairly common because they’re passed from one person to another. And you can also get them from touching anything that may have been touched by a person who has warts. Dr. Monica Carenzani-Gavin, owner and medical director of Medical Spa in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, says in an article in Men’s Health that the fast fix is simple: salicylic acid (unless you have diabetes). “Just stop by your neighborhood drugstore, look for a patch or solution that’s 17 percent salicylic acid. Soak your wart in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, then apply the salicylic acid. For best results, you’ll need to do this daily until the infected wart skin peels off.”
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