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The Man's Guide to Men's Hands and Feet

Updated on July 17, 2011

Whether or not you admit that you care about your appearance, the truth is that you do at least consider it every now and then.  Besides a person's face, hands are one of the first things a person will notice about you.  Hence, the need to take care of your hands.  However, a man should never give the impression that he pays attention to his hands.  Quite the dilemma, indeed.  

So what's the trick to taking care of you hands (and feet) without giving the impression you're a girlie man?  Balance.

Here's a fairly standard guide to help you properly maintain your extremities to be well-groomed, without being over-groomed.

Hands:

First and foremost, you should never have long fingernails, unless of course you are some famous rockstar guitarist. But then again if you're a famous guitarist, you probably won't be reading this. And since you're reading this, you're not a rockstar, so trim your fingernails. Long fingernails make you look like a recluse or a hobo. Neither are a fashion you should shoot for.

A man's nail should not be any longer than the width of a dime. Use a set of nail clippers to achieve this length. Use the small ones, the large ones are for feet and we'll get to that later. A little hint for you, don't trim your nails in public.

Also while in public don't bite or chew your nails. Actually, don't even bite your nails in the comfort of your own home. If they are long enough to chew, then they need to be trimmed. Keep your fingers out of your mouth and your nose, since you're an adult, after all.

Never cut your cuticles.  Actually, ignore your cuticles entirely.  Have a hangnail?  Hangnails are like a loose thread, you should trim it not pull it. 

Got calluses? Fine, that means you've been working with your hands.  What you don't need to start doing is wearing gloves everywhere.  Hands cracking?  Use some hand cream.  They will help prevent the hand skin from cracking and will eventually soften up those calluses.  A little disclaimer for your self respect: don't use the hand cream in public, nor let your buddies know that you actually use said hand cream.  If by some tragedy you are caught with hand cream, immediately deny and say it's your girlfriend's/wife's -- It's your only hope.

Unnacceptable Places to Trim Your Nails

  • On the bed
  • Near a baby
  • At the dinner table
  • At a friend's house
  • Over shag carpet
  • On the subway (system)
  • At Subway (restaurant)

Feet:

Your feet spend so much of their lives stuck away in socks and shoes.  They are subject to some extreme abuse which can lead to strange, horrible things happening to them: corns, bunions, hammertoes, and webbing.  How do you get rid of them? Read on.

Ingrown Toenail: This is caused when your toenail digs into the skin around it.  This is generally the result of you trimming your nail to short.  If the nail manages to pierce the skin, it can easily become infected, which you don't want to happen.  For some relief, soak the toe in warm water.

Mychotic Nail: This is a result of a fungus that discolors your nail, and sometimes dries it out causing the nail to lift from the nail bed.  (My grandfather had this when I was hunger, just thinking about still grosses me out).  If you happen to catch this fungus, treat it with an antifungal medication, the sooner the better.

Hammertoe: This is a permanent contraction of a toe, or toes, in which they arch up and constantly rub against your shoe, eventually leading to a painful callus.  This is caused by a tendon imbalance and is generally further aggravated by tight shoes.  The local pharmacy is not going to fix this, you're only option is surgery.

Callus: Basically any dry, hardened patch of skin caused by friction.  You can generally use a pumice stone (another item you can blame on your significant other).  Keep an eye out when you're working on the calluses, it may be a wart or lesion.  Both will require medical attention.

Corn: Essentially a bigger callus that is shaped like a kernel of corn, which I understand to hurt pretty bad.  The local pharmacy sells removers, but your best bet is to go to the doc to have it removed.  Just go ahead and get it removed, no need to constantly walk around in pain.

Bunion: Enlargement of the joint of the big toe.  Like hammertoe, this is caused by a tendon imbalance.  A bunion makes your big toe point toward your second toe, pushing out the first metatarsal (that bone in your foot that connects to your large toe).  You can try roomier shoes, but if that doesn't work, surgery is your only option.

Morton's Neuroma: This is a burning and numbness, generally between your third and fourth toes.  This is caused by a pinched nerve with your foot.  You can try looser shoes, which may or may not work.  If the new shoes don't help, your doctor can give you a series of injections.  If those don't work, you'll need surgery.

Smelly Feet: Putting socks on your feet even when they are just a little wet can cause bacteria to grow, which causes a bad smell.  First off, dry your feet off completely before getting dressed.  If your feet continue to stink, you can try a few different options.  First, try some foot powder, just sprinkle it on in the mornings.  Option two is to try some antiperspirant, such as Drysol, which you apply just like you do to your armpits.  Your third option is to try tea.  Darjeeling, orange pekoe, or just any kind you want.  The tannins in tea kill bacteria.  I wouldn't recommend putting real hot tea bags on them though.

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      Heather Williams 7 years ago

      As a woman, I can tell you that when we see and touch your hands we immediately imagine them all over our body. Dirty, jagged nails wont be making it into the clothes-off stage!

      Great advice, especially on trimming the long nails...I don't know why some guys keep them...they are even gross on rockers.

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