The most repulsive grooming mistake a man can make is to have long, dirty toenails, according to a recent survey of thousands of women – who, by the way, ranked the offense more repugnant than ear hair, bad breath, and even body odor. Number eight on the list of grooming no-no's is dry, cracked heels (edging out untended blackheads and over-styled hair, if you're keeping score).
But not taking care of your feet doesn't punish just wives and girlfriends – it can create unpleasant complications for you, too. Without routine foot care, ingrown toenails can lead to infections, foot stench will worsen, fungus can develop, and calluses will crack, grow painful, and bleed.
The best way to prevent and treat foot problems is with a pedicure. No, we're not kidding – unless you're diligent about cleaning, buffing, and trimming your feet (and who really is?), having a professional do it for you is the easiest and most effective form of foot maintenance. Look for a spa or salon that caters to men or offers "sports" or "executive" treatments, which cost between $20 and $50 and last 20 to 30 minutes. The other option – and it's still a good one – is to do it yourself. Here's how. Launch Gallery >>
Stop calluses by using a file like the PedEgg ($10). Rub it back and forth over rough spots, usually the heel and the ball of the foot, until the area of thickness disappears. The file also removes dead skin to prevent thick areas from forming. Whatever you do, though, don't use a pumice stone: They're too porous, and so can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco