Geriatric Foot Care
Caring for Your Aging Feet
The feet of the aged have touched much of life. Through the years they have seen their fair share of trials and troubles. Mature feet have walked countless miles and have enjoyed many adventures. With years of pressure and stress on our feet, it’s no wonder that foot conditions become prevalent as we age.
Age Related Foot Conditions:
Aging feet, over the years, lose much of their protective fat and natural elasticity. This lends to developing dry skin as well as experiencing a decreased amount of cushion on the bottom of the feet.
Often times, the temperature of the feet will become cool and the skin slightly discolored by brown pigmentation. These characteristics, along with loss of hair on the feet and toes, suggest inadequate circulation to these areas. Due to increased stress, corns and calluses are more likely to develop. Conditions such as arthritis, bunions, hammertoe, foot strain, and tendonitis are seen at higher rates as well.
Bacterial and fungal infections of the toenails occur more frequently. Toenails of aged feet also become thicker and more brittle. The resulting cracks provide opportunity for fungi to enter.
As a person ages, the feet change structurally. They become wider and a change in shoe size may be necessary. In the same way, a person’s gait is also altered. Movement is slower, with shorter and less forceful strides. As we grow older, caring for our feet becomes more important than ever.
What Can I Do To Care For My Feet?
Caring for your feet is equally important at any stage in life, but as a person ages it may become more difficult to do it alone. Geriatric foot care is extremely important. By yourself or with the help of another, your feet should be inspected every day.
Between routine visits with your podiatrist, it’s important to search for unusual or abnormal qualities. Thoroughly check for cuts and scratches along the sides, tops, and bottoms of your feet.
Spread your toes apart and examine in between them. The area between your toes is where bacteria thrives and where your skin is most likely to breakdown and become susceptible to infection. While we’re on the subject of toes, don’t forget about those toenails! Cut your nails straight across. Avoid following the natural curve of your toe, this could cause unnecessary ingrown toenails. Make sure your clippers are sharp and clean.
Washing your feet daily is very important. While scrubbing up, keep the water warm, not hot. Lather up with mild soap that won’t cause your skin to dry out and moisturize with lotion directly after.
Shoe selection is of upmost importance. Shoes that fit improperly will cause conditions such as corns, calluses, spurs and even fungal infections. Your shoes should be comfortable. We recommend selecting footwear that is wide provide extra width for your toes.
At Aadvanced Foot Care Associates we understand aging feet and we’d like to keep yours healthy and mobile! Keep on trekking for years to come. Start by making an appointment with our Rego Park (718-896-4433), Plainview (516-822-9595) or Flushing (718) 969-2266 locations by phone or online.