Most men have hair on their backs, whether it's just a little, or a lot. For men wanting a hairless back, there are many options. For temporary results, waxing, hair removal creams, or shaving can rid you of your back hair. For a more permanent solution, laser hair removal can either thin or remove back hair entirely.
As men age, they tend to gain weight, with much of it settling in the gut. Often referred to as a "beer belly," a widening waist, especially over 40 inches, can raise the risk of heart disease. It can indicate the presence of too much visceral fat (abdominal fat), the type that is stored around your internal organs. Some studies show a link between visceral fat and a variety of cardiovascular health problems. However, proper diet and exercise can help reduce your waistline, as well as your risk for obesity-related diseases.
Men sweat more than women overall, but some men sweat more than others. Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, usually affects the areas we tend to sweat most: the armpits, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Is it a problem for you? Consult your doctor; treatments to keep you dry may be available.
Testosterone, a male hormone, is what causes men to have more body hair than women. This can also cause what is referred to as a "unibrow," or eyebrows so thick they meet in the center and appear to form one brow. It can cause embarrassment for some, but not all. NBA basketball star Anthony Davis even trademarked his.
But if your joined eyebrows aren't the sort of beauty statement you want to make, you may wonder how to get rid of that unibrow. Some men opt for electrolysis or laser hair removal to ensure a permanent solution and two distinct brows. For a temporary fix, waxing every four to six weeks can shape your brows.
You shave to get smooth skin, but sometimes small, red bumps may appear after shaving. When cut hairs curl back and grow into your skin, razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae) form. You can get rid of razor bumps with these tips:
- Take a hot shower before shaving to soften the hairs and open the pores
- Use thick shaving gel
- Refrain from stretching the skin when shaving
- Shave in the direction the beard grows
- Hold a cold, wet cloth against your face after shaving
- Consider switching from a blade to an electric razor
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes skin redness, bumps, and pimples. It may also cause skin thickening, especially around the nose, which may appear swollen and bulbous. It's diagnosed more often in women, but symptoms tend to be worse in men. While excessive alcohol is often blamed for causing rosacea (sometimes called "drinker's nose"), more recent studies suggest no connection between the two. While there is no cure, there are treatments that can help control or relieve symptoms.
Male pattern baldness occurs in many men. Nearly half of men experience some hair loss by age 35, and by age 45, more than 70% of men in one study showed evidence of hair loss. This fits with the experience of many men. Men start to notice their hair thinning and a receding hairline in their 30s, and by their 50s many are significantly bald. There are a number of ways to treat hair loss, including prescription medications and surgical hair restoration.
Being colorblind means, you do not see colors in the same way other people do. This condition affects about 1 in 12 men, meaning about 8% of the male population is color blind. For comparison, about 1 in 200 women have it.
Colorblindness is usually genetic. But diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other diseases can cause it, and it can be acquired over time. There are various types of colorblindness. They affect people in different ways, usually by preventing the person to clearly see either red, green, or blue light. The most common form is red/green colorblindness.
There is no treatment for color blindness. It is a lifelong condition and most men learn to adjust without difficulty. However, there are special contact lenses and glasses that may help wearers identify colors more easily, although some people find them more confusing than helpful. There is hope that in the future gene technology could offer a more permanent fix.
Snoring affects about 44% of men, making it more common in men than in women. It can be affected by the position you sleep in, medications you take, alcohol, and underlying medical conditions. It also can be a sign of a serious sleep disorder called sleep apnea, which stops sleepers' breathing for short periods. If snoring disrupts your sleep or your partner's sleep, consult your doctor to rule out any medical conditions.
Belching, also called burping, is a bodily function usually caused by the body expelling excess air that is swallowed when eating. This is normal. However, if belching is frequent, accompanied by nausea, abdominal pain, or if belching does not relieve the discomfort, it may be a sign of a more serious digestive disorder. Consult your doctor.
Passing gas, also called flatulence or "farting," results from releasing air trapped in your digestive system. While the sound and smell can make us the "butt" of jokes, passing gas is common and harmless. Everyone does it several times a day. Eating beans, fruits, vegetables, and other foods high in fiber can cause gas, as can drinking carbonated beverages such as beer and soda. If you are lactose intolerant, consuming dairy products may cause you to have more gas. If excessive gas is a concern for you, try to identify those foods that trigger your body to produce more gas, and consult your doctor if symptoms do not resolve when you eliminate such trigger foods.
Body odor comes from bacteria that thrive in a warm, moist environment. When we sweat, our skin becomes a breeding ground for these bacteria, and we may give off an unpleasant body odor. Stinky foods such as garlic and onions may also be culprits. Usually a shower, clean clothes, and antiperspirant will rid you of body odor.
Extreme body odor, sometimes called bromhidrosis, is more common in men than women. It's caused by bacteria that feed on sweat—particularly sweat from the underarms and groin produced by your apocrine glands. Prevention usually involves keeping skin as dry as possible and mitigating bacteria. If standard treatments fail, sweat glands can be removed through surgery.
Jock itch (tinea cruris) is a fungal infection that can cause a red, itchy rash in the groin area and inner thighs. It often occurs after excessive sweating such as from hot weather or exercise. Jock itch is more common in overweight men. It may arise from a case of athlete's foot that spreads to the groin, as the same type of fungus causes both problems. It can be treated with over-the-counter antifungal creams or gels. To prevent recurrence, treat athlete's foot at the same time (if you have it), keep the area clean and dry, and wear loose-fitting clothing.
Athlete's foot (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that affects feet and toes, causing itchy, red, cracked, tender, and scaly skin. Blisters may also form. It also can spread to the groin or inner thighs (jock itch). It is treated with topical antifungal creams, and in severe cases a doctor may prescribe oral medications. To prevent infections, keep the feet clean and dry, use athlete's foot powders, wear open shoes when possible, and use shower shoes or sandals in the locker room and at the pool.
An ingrown toenail happens when your nail grows into the skin around it. If you have one, you will know soon because ingrown toenails are painful. This is a common problem, accounting for about 20% of podiatrist (foot doctor) visits. It usually affects the big toe, and symptoms include pain, redness, swelling, and infection. To prevent ingrown toenails, avoid cutting nails too short or rounding them at the edges. Instead, cut toenails evenly and leave them long enough for toenail corners to rest against the skin. Use nail clippers specifically designed to cut toenails and avoid tight-fitting shoes. Sweaty feet can cause ingrown toenails, too, so make sure your shoes are well-ventilated.
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by smoking or eating strong-smelling foods, but most often it is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Proper dental hygiene, including tooth brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, can usually remove the offensive odor. Several underlying medical conditions such as gum disease, dry mouth, acid reflux, sinusitis, and diabetes can cause bad breath. If your symptoms of bad breath persist even with proper oral care, contact your doctor or dentist.
Male sexual dysfunction may feel embarrassing, but by age 40 nearly 40% of all men have experienced a sexual dysfunction of some kind. This may mean decreased libido, premature ejaculation, or an inability to get or maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction, or ED). Often sexual dysfunction in men is related to an underlying condition, smoking, or medications. Talk to your doctor if you experience sexual problems to rule out diabetes, low testosterone, heart disease, neurologic conditions, and circulation problems.
Hearing loss is a common problem, especially as we age. Loud or continuous noise can make it harder to hear. It may affect your ability to hear high-pitched noises, or it can result in ringing or buzzing in the ears. To prevent some forms of hearing loss, wear earplugs and keep your personal music player headphones at a low volume. Avoid loud noises or music whenever possible, and especially avoid listening to them for long periods of time.
As men age, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, is a common problem. It affects about 1 in 3 men over age 50, and up to 90% of men by age 85. The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra, and when it is enlarged it can cause symptoms including the feeling of needing to urinate more often or more urgently, or frequent nighttime urination. Talk to your doctor about behavioral modifications or medications to help relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
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- Colour Blind Awareness: "Treatment," "Types of colour blindness."
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- Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care: "Ingrown toenail: Overview."
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- Library of Congress Science Reference Services: "Health Effects of Obesity."
- Mayo Clinic: "Jock itch."
- Medscape: "How common is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?"
- National Health Society: "Flatulence."
- NIH: "Noise-induced hearing loss."
- National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health: "Color Blindness"
- National Rosacea Society: "All About Rosacea"
- University of Wisconsin Health: "Urology: Erectile dysfunction (ED)."
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- UpToDate: "Intestinal Gas and Bloating"
- UpToDate: "Medical Treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia"
- UpToDate: "Overview of Male Sexual Dysfunction"
- UpToDate: "Overview of Snoring in Adults"
- UpToDate: "Etiology of Hearing Loss in Adults
- UpToDate: "Health Hazards Associated With Obesity in Adults"
- UpToDate: "Patient Information: Ingrown Toenail"
- UpToDate: "Patient Information: Ringworm"
- UpToDate: "Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis"
- UpToDate: "Pseudofolliculitis Barbae"
- UpToDate: "Removal of Unwanted Hair"
- WebMD: "Preventing Body Odor"