It’s important to pay attention to your feet as you get older because eventually, all those years of walking, running and standing on them catches up to you. Not only do natural changes to foot structure and function occur, but also the signs of all that wear and tear become more obvious with each passing year.
While the effects of aging on the feet can vary considerably, some of the problems noticed by many people as they age include:
- Your feet will increase in size—The tendons and ligaments in your feet will gradually loosen as you age, and the arch will flatten and increase the length of your foot by at least a half size. You may also experience more soft tissue damage and other issues as the components of your foot deteriorate.
- Thickening of the toenails—Slower nail growth and changes to hormones as we age cause the nails to get thicker and more brittle, making it harder to trim them.
- Fungal nail infections—Since your immune system tends to weaken as you age, you are more susceptible to infections.
- Dehydration—Your skin tends to dry out as you get older. The bottom of your feet is one area where this becomes more evident in the form of calluses and heel fissures that can become infected.
- Joint diseases— such as arthritis tend to worsen as we age. Gout can strike the big toe joint causing pain and swelling.
- Edema—This is swelling that occurs mainly in the feet and ankles. Edema is often the result of systemic diseases, the side effects from medication, or due to an injury to the foot, all of which are more likely to happen to the elderly population.
Being mindful of the effects that aging has on your feet is a great way to make good choices in your foot care regimen. See your podiatrist to treat disorders before they become more advanced. Anthony Benenati, DPM, Neil Shaw, DPM and Adam Thompson, DPM of Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers will provide expert advice and proper evaluation for all your foot care concerns. To serve you better, we have 3 office locations in Macomb County including St. Clair Shores, Warren, and Macomb, MI. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or to request an appointment online.