HomeHealthMental Health‘Embarrassing’ male body issues

‘Embarrassing’ male body issues

While ‘vanity’ is often claimed by men to be the domain of women, there is nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s own appearance, and, let’s face it, many men could do with the odd ‘makeover’. However, not all male body issues are ‘aesthetic’ as such, but some can cause discomfort or require extra care that detracts from the quality of life.

That said, there are more than a few fellows who do care about how they look, and some of the slightly embarrassing ‘male’ body problems can be easily overcome with these tips. Others may require a visit to the doc or constant management to ensure they don’t turn into something more serious.

Back hair
There aren’t many women who appreciate back hair. Unfortunately, excessive back hair is something a lot of men have to live with. Getting rid of it can involve laser hair removal, which is typically permanent. Cheaper options that last a few weeks include waxing, hair removal creams and razors.

Beer belly
Men are more likely than women to put on fat around the waist. And although it’s commonly called beer belly, it’s not necessarily beer that causes it. Eating healthily and doing moderate exercise should bring those extra kilos under control.

It’s not your fault, guys. Men just sweat more than women. Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis. Those embarrassing sweat stains under your arms or clammy palms can be triggered by emotions or heat, but there are effective treatments available from a health professional.

Monobrow (also referred to as ‘unibrow’)
While not a common condition, monobrows – the name for when hormones produce eyebrows that join in the middle – aren’t the best look. But the condition can be fixed with electrolysis, which permanently destroys the hair follicles, or with waxing or tweezing, which lasts around six weeks.

Razor bumps
Your smooth shave can often turn into lumpy skin afterwards. This is most common with curly-haired men. To eliminate those skin bumps, have a hot shower before you shave, apply thick gel or shaving cream and shave with a sharp razor in the direction your beard grows.

Rosacea (red nose)
Men with rosacea – a condition that causes redness in the face and, in worse cases, a thick, red, bulbous nose – are assumed to be alcoholics. While that can be true, rosacea is a medical condition that can occur in those who don’t touch a drop of alcohol. If this is you, see your doctor or dermatologist for treatment.

Receding hairline
Most men after the age of 35 will experience a receding hairline which often leads to bald spots on the top of the scalp. While hair restoration surgery is an option for some (albeit expensive and sometimes painful), there are prescription medicines available to mitigate hair loss.

Snoring affects the sleeper and the unlucky person sleeping next to them. And while annoying and uncomfortable, it reduces sleep quality for you and your partner and can also be a sign of something more serious, such as sleep apnoea. If you’re having trouble on a continuous basis with snoring, you should see your doctor.

Some cultures appreciate a good burp, but more often than not, it’s not considered as a sign of politeness. And yet, burping can be uncontrollable for some. Frequent burping can also be a sign of other symptoms, such as nausea, bellyaches or other digestive disorders – or worse. If you have uncontrollable burping, see your doctor.

Farts can be funny, yes, but as with burping, not exactly a display of social grace. Still, everyone farts. Most people pass gas between six and 20 times a day. Common culprits are beer, fizzy drinks and some fruits and vegetables – particularly cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, legumes and beans. If it’s uncontrollable, see your doctor. Otherwise, let it go (outside if possible!).

Body odour
Any strenuous activity can cause body odour, which is not actually caused by sweat but by the bacteria that thrives in sweaty skin. Easy ways to combat ‘BO’ are washing regularly with soap and using antiperspirants, as well as washing clothes regularly. Avoiding smelly foods such as garlic and onions also helps, as too, does drinking lots of water.

‘Jock itch’
It may sound American, but it is a nicer way of saying ‘itchy balls’. It’s a fungal infection that easily spreads from gyms, hotels and public places and it can get into your underwear via hands, towels and stepping into your jocks. Symptoms include a patchy rash on your groin and inner thighs, and it can get very itchy. Treatments include over-the-counter antifungal creams, tea-tree oil or sprays and keeping the area dry and free of tight clothing.

Athlete’s foot
The same fungus that causes jock itch also causes athlete’s foot. Walking barefoot in gyms or near pools is the most common way to pick it up. Symptoms include burning, rashes and cracks on feet or in between your toes. Treatment is the same as jock itch and if you have both jock itch and athlete’s foot, you should treat them simultaneously.

Bad breath
Smelly foods, smoking and dehydration are the most common causes of bad breath, which are all easily manageable. Bad breath can also be caused by acid reflux. However, it’s the more insidious cause that may give you headaches (sometimes literally), and that’s gum disease. If good hygiene doesn’t make your breath any better, it may be time to see your dentist.

Erectile dysfunction
Almost a third of men experience sexual dysfunction, regardless of age. This may include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation or a dip in libido. While sometimes embarrassing, these issues can also be a sign of more serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, neurologic conditions, circulation problems, and side-effects of some medications.

Prostate problems
Enlarged prostates are an unavoidable part of ageing for many men and may require surgery or ‘invasive’ treatment. As the prostate grows, it squeezes the urethra, and can make you want to go to the toilet more often. If this is happening to you, get it checked. It may not require surgery and could be treated with other strategies and medicines.

Would you class these conditions as ‘embarrassing’ or are they simply synonymous with ageing? Do you have any of these conditions? How do you manage it?

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