Guys, A Shower Shortcut You Can’t Afford

Shampoo should not be used as a body wash, since it will lead to dry, damaged skin.

44/365 better late than never

Your mornings are hectic — eat breakfast, watch Sports Center, take the dog out for a walk, watch more Sports Center. I get it. And I get that you want your grooming routine to be fast. But if you’re using shampoo for both your hair and body wash just to save a few seconds in the shower, I’m telling you, it’s not worth it.

Shampoos are designed to get oils off your hair, so when you use them on your body, you actually strip needed oils off your skin, leading to dry, damaged skin. Always wash with a moisturizing soap that helps lock moisture in, such as Dove Men + Care Body and Face washes.

For the record, ladies, this goes for you too. But I figured you already knew that.

Photo credit: FCC, ~Twon~.

I am a medical adviser for Unilever, the company that makes Dove Men + Care products.

3 Reasons Men Should Take a Break from Shaving

3 Reasons Why Should Take a Break from Shaving.

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If you’re a guy who prides himself on his close shave, then think about taking a break once in a while. Here’s why:

1. Allowing your hair to grow can help unclog pores and reduce ingrown hairs in just a few days. Longer, trapped hairs are easier to pluck free than short ones. Once free, be sure to shave it gently and not too close to the skin so it doesn’t start to grow inward again. Don’t pluck it. Plucking can lead to a new ingrown hair when that follicle starts to grow hair again.

2. Shaving is a form of exfoliating, which is good for sloughing off dead skin cells. However, too much exfoliation can sometimes to lead to irritation in the form of razor bumps and redness. Exfoliation exposes tender skin underneath. Taking some time off gives your skin a chance to heal.

3. It’s easier to soften your beard when the hairs are longer. Short, just shaved hairs are pinchy. As the hair grows it becomes softer. Apply warm water and warm shaving cream to your beard and let sit for 3 minutes before you shave again.

Bonus: Periodic displays of facial hair demonstrates to your potential mate that you’re a healthy male who’s capable of siring children for her someday.

Photo credit, FCC, mymostofme // metamorphograph

Can Men Get Cellulite?

Men and women are different. Everyone with estrogen has some cellulite. Everyone without estrogen has no cellulite. Men, er, manly men, should have no estrogen and therefore no cellulite.

However, excess fat can create estrogen, even in guys. That’s why some overweight men develop man boobs — they’re making estrogen. They can also rarely have cellulite; though not as rarely as having periods.

Two Things You Must Do To Prevent Razor Bumps

Razor bumps are painful red bumps that develop from ingrown hairs. Shaving against the grain or using a razor with many blades can cause them. In this video I’ll show you what causes razor bumps, also called pseudofolliculitis barbae (in case your date asks and you’re trying to impress her). I’ll also give you two tips to prevent them.

How To Grow A Mustache Like Wes Welker

I’ve has a sudden deluge of e-mail asking me how to grow a mustache like Wes Welker from the New England Patriots. Well, just as you might not be able to put up yards-after-carry like Wes does, you might not be able to grow a mustache like he does. It takes time and testosterone. My advice? Get started soon. In this video I’ll tell you how fast (er, slowly) a mustache grows for most men.

Shaving: Fewer Blades Is More Manly

How many blades do we need to shave?

I am a man. I use a two-blade razor.

This might surprise you. I have means, so why don’t I use the latest five-blade-vibrating-titanium tool? Any razor good enough for Tiger Woods Derek Jeeter should be good enough for me, right?

Advanced technology doesn’t always make a product better. Think of your universal remote control; it has half a dozen buttons you’ve probably never pushed and, if it’s like mine, changing the channel is a complicated affair.

Last week a patient of mine, who looks a lot like Javier Bardem, came to my office, frustrated. He had been using the latest-blade razor and had red razor bumps on his neck and cheeks. Why?

Because there is such a thing as a shave that is too close. If your beard is cut at or below the level of the skin, then the hair can become trapped when it regrows. The coiled hair continues to grow downward causing a painful, red razor bump. For some men, the closer the shave, the more likely they’ll have this problem.

For a close, comfortable shave, you don’t need a new gadget; you need good technique:

  • Warm your face with water. Massage shaving cream and let set for 1-2 minutes before you start.
  • Shave it the first time – one stroke. Rinse your blade between every swipe.
  • Sharp blades cut without pulling hairs; change your blade often.
  • Pull the skin taut for a closer shave, let it relax for a more comfortable shave.
  • Always shave with the grain of the hair.

I might not be manly enough for a straight razor, but I’m sticking to my classic two-blade shaver, even if it is circa 1970’s technology. Like moving the ball half the distance to the goal when your already at the goal line, shaving twice a close when you’re already close doesn’t matter much. Sometimes close is close enough.

What is your favorite razor?

Is your shave better now than it was 5 years ago?

Photo: Guarana

Get Rid of Your Jock Itch Once and For All

I’ve been seeing a lot of jocks lately. The anatomical area, not the athletes. Summertime means heat and humidity, sports, and itchy groins. Jock itch is a general term for an itchy rash in the area. Heat, sweat, and skin rubbing on skin can leave the area looking like you slid into second base, groin first.

There are three main causes of an itchy groin. Classic jock itch is caused by a fungus, the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. This fungus often causes a red scaly rash on the inner thighs. It tends to be dry and can have bumps or pimples. The fungus is often spread from your feet or from contaminated sports equipment, towels, etc. It can be treated with topical terbinafine cream 1% twice a day for 2-4 weeks. Severe cases can require oral anti-fungal medications, especially if the fungus has spread to other areas on your body.

The second cause of an itchy groin is a yeast infection (yes, the same yeast that can cause a vaginal yeast infection in women). The yeast grows well in warm, moist areas and causes a bright pink, moist, irritated rash. Unlike the fungus, yeast can spread onto the scrotum. It can be treated with topical clotrimazole cream 1% twice a day for 2-4 weeks.

The third common cause of a jock itch is a bacterial infection. Certain bacteria take advantage of the irritated skin and warm environment causing a rash called erythrasma. This can be treated with miconazole 2% cream twice a day for 2 weeks.

For all causes of jock itch it is important to keep the area clean and dry. Sometimes washing your groin with anti-dandruff shampoo such as zinc or selenium sulfide shampoos can help clear unwanted organisms. Hydrocortisone 1% cream can be added to any of the above treatments to reduce the redness and itching while the infection is being treated. Use it once to twice daily.

Remember, it is important to keep the area dry. The standard way is to use powders (some of which are medicated for an added bonus, such as Gold Bond). Once the active infection is resolved, treating your groin with your underarm antiperspirant can help keep this area dry, thereby making it less inviting for fungus and other organisms to return.

However, I don’t recommend spraying antiperspirant on your groin if you’re in the midst of a raging jock itch — you’ll spend the entire day scratching an area that shouldn’t be scratched in public.

Photo: jkstrapme (flickr)