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 day.
While the effects of aging on the feet can vary considerably, some of the problems noticed by many people as they age include:
- Your foot gets bigger. As the tendons and ligaments of the foot gradually loosen as we age, the arch of your foot will flatten and increase the length of your foot by a half size or more. Soft tissue injuries are also more likely as these foot components wear out.
- Thicker toenails and fungal infections. 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. We are also more likely to get fungal infections in those brittle nails because of a weakening immune system.
- Moisture Loss. The bottoms of the feet show more signs of dryness as we age and calluses are likely to develop. Cracking and rashes can also become an issue.
- Arthritis and other joint problems are more likely as we age, whether it’s the ankle and toe joints affected by arthritis, or the big toe joint attacked by gout.
- Swelling of the feet and ankles is more likely to occur in elderly people. The causes can range from an injury to circulation abnormalities, medication side effects, hormonal changes, and cardiovascular disease.
Staying aware of how your feet change as you get older will help you to make proactive choices to maintaining your foot health. Your foot specialist can help you develop a comprehensive plan to deal with the problems of your aging feet.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, have extensive experience treating age-related foot problems, and are experts in providing the best care for any other difficulties you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.