Men's Guide to Hygiene: The Body Parts You Need to Clean

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Jan 27, 2016 05:14 AM EST

NEW YORK - MAY 16: Genevieve paints a mud treatment on a client during a facial treatment at NICKEL spa for men May 16, 2003 in New York City. The spa which is the only spa in New York catering to men only offers a variety of services like pedicures and manicures for $15 to $20 to a series of 5 sports massages for $765. According to NICKEL manager Hector Pena, many clients confess due to the current economic trends, work and the chaotic state of the world, NICKEL helps them relax while taking better care of themselves. (Photo : Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

While women are particularly good at hygiene, men can be, too – with some practice.

Hygiene is simply defined as “the things that you do to keep yourself and your surroundings clean in order to maintain good health,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. What are the things that men should do in order to have good, healthy body hygiene?

Experts say that men should give attention to cleaning some body parts, reports MSN. What parts are they? Read on to see the body parts that men need to clean better, or at least in a different way.

Skin

Yes, the outermost layer of the human body. The average human is covered by about 20 square feet of skin and keeping it is important, says MSN.

The skin can be a host to various bacteria, fungi and yeasts if it is not cleaned. Although the skin is just the surface, the problem starts when these harmful elements enter the skin through a cut or scratch and make their way into the bloodstream.

Obese people have it harder, as yeast infections could grow under folds of skin.

Taking a bath and using soap will work just fine. However, you're encouraged to try other options such as men's skin-care and cosmetic products.

Toes and Feet

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health’s 2012 National Foot Health Assessment found that about 44 million people have experienced athlete’s foot. Of these, men surpassed the women at 29 percent versus 12 percent, reports MSN.

One of the theories behind this is that men usually wear airtight shoes that promotes an atmosphere where the fungus can thrive: a dark, warm area of skin.

If left untreated, athlete's foot can lead to other foot problems such as blisters or discolored toenails that might also crumble. The fungus can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the groin, producing jock itch.

Opt to wear well-ventilated shoes, new or newly-washed socks and flip-flops. Keep your feet dry, too.

Hands and Nails

Men, keep in mind to wash your hands after using the bathroom.

As disease-causing bacteria can lurk under your nails, many respiratory and gastrointestinal disease are transmitted when dirty, contaminated hands touch eyes, noses and mouths.

“Hand washing is a no-brainer," says Nancy Bock of the American Cleaning Institute. “Washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or more is a simple way to stay healthy.”

Armpits

While the sweat from your armpits don't smell bad in its own, once it mixes with the bacteria in your skin it will stink, says MSN. Always remember to wash your armpits with soap and water.

Mouth, Teeth and Gums

This isn't only a matter of bad breath. Skipping from brushing your teeth and using floss can lead to a buildup of plaque, which will produce acid that can cause cavities in your teeth.

You might also develop gingivitis, an inflammation caused by hardened plaque. Worse, it might lead to other diseases.

“Previous research has suggested a potential link between gum disease and other conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis,” says Dr. Susan Karabin, former president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

Back

Acne in the back, or what is called “bacne,” according to MSN, can grow when the back is not clean. You can use acne medicine or a body wash with salicylic solution for this. Alternatively, a loofah with a long handle can also be used to clean your back.

Genitals

Doctors recommend that you should wash your genitals regularly with warm water.

If you're uncircumcised, remember to pull back the foreskin and wash thoroughly as failure to do so might result in a buildup of smegma. It's a natural lubricant that helps keep your genitals moist, but too much of it can be a breeding ground for bacteria which could lead to a redness and swelling called “balanitis,” reports MSN.

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