Wednesday, 15 October 2014

How aging affects foot health

Taking care of your health is a serious process and should be done in a manner to ensure that you age hale and hearty. Many fail to include foot care within their routine health checkups. This is absolutely wrong! The fact is your feet mirror the aging process. Hence it can have profound consequences as you age. Severe foot disorders can come in the way of an elder’s mobility and independence.

The human body undergoes natural changes with aging, which in turn causes foot inflammation, pain and various other disorders. Careful assessment of an older person’s feet usually reveals gross changes in appearance, alterations in sensitivity and joint motion, which can eventually lead to limited mobility or even dysfunction. Continue reading to know how aging affects foot health and what you can do to take care of your feet from an early age.

Effects and Preventive Measures
  • Skin problems that might affect feet
  • Your skin gradually changes with aging. This results in reduced skin cell growth and collagen production. Many might experience thinness of their foot skin. Dry foot skin can be avoided by applying moisturizers on a daily basis. This is the best remedy for cracked feet or skin rashes.
    Bathing is very important to ensure sound foot health. Particular care should be given to cleaning between toes. Feet should be dried gently and thoroughly especially after returning from the workplace. Frequency of footbaths can be increased, which is definitely more convenient and safer.

  • Disfiguration of toenails
  • Toenails tend to lose its normal shape with age, thereby getting thicker. Some might experience brittleness of toenails too. This is due to hormonal effects that slow down the toenail’s growth over time. Then the toenail might get thick because of hypothyroidism. Poor blood circulation might also cause brittle toenails.

    Pedicure is troublesome for elders who have poor vision or whose dexterity is faulty. One can seek professional help to properly cut toenails across so that in-growths and skin punctures can be prevented.

  • Foot conditions from Orthopedic disorders
  • It’s normally seen that shoe sizes or foot shapes changes with time. As a person starts aging, his body’s ligaments undergo several modifications which put extra stress on the foot. This is the reason why most elders develop joint, ankle and toe pain. The condition becomes severe for those suffering from Arthritis. Specially designed orthopedic shoes with custom insoles can bring relief to joint or foot pain.

  • Reduction in blood circulation
  • Often elders complain of a very common foot problem, that of swelling. Inflammation results from poor blood circulation in the leg’s veins. The problem usually starts with one limb but may spread to the other one, if not cured in time. Elders suffering from cardiovascular conditions or those undergoing specific medications might experience blood circulation problems. Custom molded shoes can be used for the perfect fit. Superficial circulation maybe enhanced with a gentle massage using a good quality skin lotion.

    Feet are particularly vulnerable to age-related changes. Walking is the best exercise for your feet. Inspect your feet every day, or let a foot specialist do this for you. The best way to prevent the effects of aging on your foot is by getting it examined by skilled foot care professionals at least once a year. Physical therapists can play a key role too, in guiding you towards having healthy feet.

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