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"Exploring the Benefits of the Male Pedicures: Why You Should Treat Your Feet Like Shaq"

Many athletes struggle with ugly and stinky feet due to the constant activity with and without shoes. In a recent conversation on his YouTube channel, basketball star Shaquille O'Neal discusses why he gets a pedicure regularly. Athletes in general do struggle with foot conditions associated with hyperhidrosis, callous formation, thickened nails, hammer tools, bunions, tendonitis, and the list goes on and on but having a pedicure as a male is still not common.


Shaq toenails
Credit: Instagram/Shaq

Many articles have focused on the price he pays for a pedicure however let's go into detail on the benefits of having a proper pedicure as an athlete.


Improves foot odor: Most athletes will start developing a condition called pitted keratosis. Stresses on the foot and skin develop lesions and start absorbing bacteria along the sole. As these lesions increase in size and depth they start creating sulfur compounds that create a malodor. Usually, a combination of treatment with removing these lesions and prescription topical medications resolve these conditions


Reduces risk of athlete's foot: Patients that develop athlete's foot which is a fungal infection of the skin also create maceration, cracking, and opening skin fishers that absorb the bacteria and fungal elements in the shoes. This again is significantly noted in athletes due to the amount of sweating and activity in shoes. A proper pedicure with foot soaking in an antifungal and antimicrobial shampoo reduces the accumulation of these elements hence reducing odor


Toenail injury
Toenail Injury

Nail discoloration: Most athletes who have to run will develop a condition called subungeal hematomas which is where blood accumulates underneath the nail related to micro stress against shoes or trauma against other individuals or objects ( basketballs ). Other reasons can be related to fungal nails. I understand completely how Shaquille O'Neal paints his nails to cover up this discoloration. Pedicures in general cannot treat fungal nails however in conjunction with seeing a podiatrist can address most if not all nail conditions without removing the nails. However, an easier option is just to paint them!

skin blister
Skin Blister

Skin Fissures/ Blisters: These are cracks in the skin past the dermis which can be very painful, ugly, and easy to treat if done appropriately. A pedicure helps reduce the accumulation of skin and carelessness on these areas which indirectly assists with the treatment of the skin cracks and reduce blister formation. Urea cream has been shown to significantly improve the elimination of these conditions if used regularly.


In general foot care is important at any age as we only have two we still cannot transplant them effectively. The $1000 he pays for his pedicure is well worth it and more athletes should appreciate their feet with giving them a VIP experience! I would love to show the promote benefits of pedicures to male athletes and team up with Shaq to create the "Shaq Ped Package." and bring foot hygiene to more men.

why shaq gets pedicures







Dr Darryl Martins DPM

Board Certified Foot and Ankle Clinic/ Podiatrist

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