Foot issues affect both sexes, but today we want to shine the spotlight on some conditions that are typically more common in boys and men. These conditions can come about for a variety of different reasons, but no matter the cause, it’s important to treat them in their infancy before they turn into a larger issue. Here’s a look at some common foot and ankle problems that affect men.
Foot and Ankle Problems in Men
1. Plantar Fasciitis – Plantar fasciitis is a condition that often affects active individuals, like athletes or people who work outside in manual labor. The condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. Repeated stress can lead to microtears in the fascia, and they oftentimes don’t get enough time to heal due to the person’s active lifestyle. Physical therapy and activity modification can help to calm and treat plantar fasciitis, but if conservative care options don’t work, reach out to a foot and ankle specialist.
2. Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails are more common in younger boys who may round off their toenails when cutting their nails or who wear too tight of athletic shoes when playing sports. This can cause the nail to grow and pressurize the soft tissues on the side of the nail bed. We commonly see the condition in track athletes and soccer players who may be wearing too tight of shoes. You can try to fix the nail on your own by following these tips, or you can have a foot specialist numb the toe and surgically remove the problemed portion of nail.
3. Athlete’s Foot – Athlete’s foot is a condition that is caused by a fungus, and men and boys typically aren’t as good at cleaning their feet as women. Try to keep your feet dry and scrub them every time you take a shower. When using shared facilities like a locker room, avoid going barefoot if possible. Get rid of old sweaty sneakers and choose footwear options that allow your feet to breath. Topical creams can help clear up a fungal infection.
4. Gout – Gout is another condition that is more common in men because it can be brought upon by poor diet, limited exercise and regular alcohol consumption. It is categorized by the buildup of uric acid in your joints, and that can damage or inflame your toe joints. Medications, a healthy diet and regular exercise are great ways to control your gout, but your doctor can walk you through a more tailored treatment plan if you’re experiencing regular flareups of the condition.