Keeping Your Feet Healthy Is Important, Too

April 2019

As we age, paying attention to our feet is less about looking good in sandals and more about maintaining good health.

 

Here are some areas of concern regarding foot health, as noted by U.S. News & World Report (https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2019-01-16/why-foot-care-is-critical-for-seniors).

 

Corns and callouses are patches of dead skin that have thickened to protect the skin from rubbing or chafing, often from a badly-fitting pair of shoes or other irritation. Dry skin associated with corns and callouses can be painful and crack, which can lead to infection.

 

Age can bring on thinning of the pads of our feet, resulting in less support of the arch as well as pain when walking. Pinched nerves and Achilles tendonitis are other effects of aging.

 

Both heel spurs and plantar fasciitis can be the cause of heel pain, and both can make it painful to stand or walk.

 

Osteoarthritis can cause pain in the feet.

 

Bunions, which develop slowly, are caused by pressure on the big toe. These painful bumps are on the outside of the big toe. The pressure can push the big toe toward the second toe. Tight footwear or high heels can lead to development of bunions.

 

Diabetes can create vascular problems that can lead to foot problems. That’s why diabetics especially need to stay vigilant with foot care.

 

Fungal infections and other toenail issues can result from a constantly damp environment, such as wearing socks in closed and/or tight shoes regularly. That damp environment is ideal for overgrowth of fungus. Brittle and dry nails can become more common as we age, due to weakened blood flow to lower extremities.

 

If you’re an active older adult, you might develop overuse injuries, the kind that remind you “You’re not as young as you used to be.” More sedentary older adults can be more prone to diabetes and vascular disease, with reduced blood circulation.

 


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