With foot pain, it can feel like every part of the body hurts. Because this is Healthy Aging Month, in today’s post, Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, and Cassandra Stache, DPM of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center, share 5 proactive foot care tips for seniors.
Foot problems can become an issue for seniors, partly because this area of your body can lose padding over the years while nails and skin become dry and brittle. If you suffer from poor circulation, as most seniors do, foot lesions can heal more slowly.
Healthy ankles and feet are among the most important means of independence protection and transportation as we age. You need them to go for walks, do your grocery shopping, drive, and more. Proactive care is important.
5 Proactive Foot Care Tips for Seniors
Luckily, there are plenty of things older adults can do to keep their feet healthy as they enter their senior years.
- Wear shoes that fit comfortably: Don’t wear shoes that put too much pressure on your feet, such as high-heeled or tight shoes. Have your feet professionally measured if you’re getting corns, bunions, or calluses, even when wearing footwear that should be comfortable. This is important because your feet can get wider as you age.
- Examine your feet weekly for any issues: Be sure to examine the bottoms, tops, toenails, and toes. Look to see if they are red or swollen or if there are any insect bites, punctures, or blisters. If you can’t do this yourself, try holding a mirror beneath your feet or ask a friend for help. Using a magnifying glass may also be helpful. If you find any issues, address them proactively.
- Control foot odor by washing and drying your feet daily: After cleansing, drying thoroughly between your toes will help to prevent athlete’s foot, which thrives in dark, moist, and warm areas. You may have this condition if you see redness in your feet, itching, peeling, and blisters. Athlete’s foot is often found between the toes, so purchase a foot powder or spray designed to combat the problem.
- Boost your circulation: If you spend most of your day sitting, make sure you stretch, walk, and move enough to keep the blood flowing. Other tips to improve circulation include not wearing tight socks, not sitting with your legs crossed for long periods of time, and not smoking.
- Manage dry skin: Provide relief for burning and itching by applying petroleum jelly or moisturizers containing lanolin.
If you experience these conditions or have questions, contact Greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center. You can click here to locate contact information for the nearest office to book your appointment.