• How Your Feet Change with Age

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Sep 23rd, 2015

Everyone knows that growing older is inevitable and with it comes a host of changes to your body, and your feet are no exception. At a certain point, all the years of walking, running and standing on your feet will start to catch up with you, so it comes as no surprise that your feet will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Natural changes in foot structure and function also happen as we age, which makes it especially important to pay closer attention to your foot health as you grow older.

While everyone’s aging experience is different, some of the changes you may notice in your or an aging loved one’s feet include:

Changes in shoe/foot size

The size or shape of your foot often changes as we age due to the gradual loosening of the ligaments and tendons that help provide structure to the foot. As these tissues lose their elasticity, the arch of the foot may flatten out and increase the length of the foot. Some people may notice their shoe size increase by a half-size or more as a result. This aging of the tendons and ligaments of the foot may also increase the risk of soft tissue foot injuries like tendonitis, sprains, and tears.

Toenail thickening, fungal infections

As we grow older, our toenails tend to become thicker and more brittle due to slower nail growth and hormonal changes. This can make them more difficult to trim and groom. Weakening immune systems may also leave us more susceptible to fungal nail infections – another culprit of thick, brittle toenails.

Skin dryness, cracking, rashes

Age-related moisture loss often leads to dry skin, especially on the bottoms of the feet. For this reason, older people may be more likely to develop foot calluses. If ignored, the dryness can eventually lead to cracking, redness and rashes on the soles of the feet.

Arthritis, gout, joint problems

Arthritis – or inflammation of the joints – is common in elderly people. When it comes to the foot, the joints in the toes and ankles are most likely to develop arthritis. As the arthritis in toe joints progress, symptoms for related issues like associated bunions and hammer toes may get worse. Older adults often tend to develop gout – a type of arthritis that often results in severe pain in the big toe joint

Swelling, circulation problems

Swelling of the feet and ankles is probably one of the more common foot problems associated with aging. Swollen feet and ankles can have many causes, including injury or problems with circulation. Other age-related factors that may prompt swelling in the lower extremities include: cardiovascular disease, certain medications, and hormonal changes.

Growing older isn’t something to be worried about, but it just means to be more aware your overall health. By being aware of how your feet change as they age and taking a proactive approach to maintaining your healthy feet that you love so much, you’ll ensure that your feet will carry you into your golden years and beyond. If you haven’t had a foot checkup in a while, schedule an appointment with us today!

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/how-your-feet-change-with-age/

Author Dr. LaMour

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