By Nov 29, 2022

Aging Feet: How Aging Affects Your Feet

a woman stretching while sitting on a yoga mat.

Aging is a horrendously interesting process. The effects of aging are as varied as those who age and are, as a general rule, really inconvenient. You already know how aging can affect your hair, health, and face wrinkles. Did you know that aging can also have major effects on your feet?

We’re in the business of feet, and we want you to be aware of the changes your feet will go through when you age. Far from leaving you without solace for these (often unpleasant) changes, we’ll also give you some ideas of how you can counteract these effects and keep operating in top shape.

Toenails

As you age, some interesting things start to happen to your feet. Your once-lovely toenails can become thick and brittle. They become much harder to cut and, without sickening anyone too much, are often gnarled, yellow, and fungus-infected. Your toenails suffer for several reasons, but primarily because of poor circulation.

Wear comfortable shoes with wide-toe boxes to protect your tootsies. Don’t try to squash your toes into places that make them miserable. Give them lots of air, lots of sun, and lots of pampering. Treat yourself to a pedicure every other week. Dry your feet well when they get wet, and consider engaging a podiatrist if your fungus gets out of hand.

Skin

Aging can also affect the skin on your feet. As you age, your cells become much slower at reproducing and replacing each other. Your collagen production seriously decreases, and your skin begins to thin rapidly. You may begin to develop skin lesions and other age-related skin conditions.

These changes to your skin can crack your heels, give you dry skin, and cause corns and calluses. Take care of your skin by washing and moisturizing your feet every day. Protect your feet from the elements, and make sure you’re wearing supportive shoes that are highly comfortable.

Structural Changes

Speaking of shoes, you may have to start making changes to your shoe closet as you age. Aging can have a massive effect on the structure of your feet. The more time you’ve spent on your feet, the more stress your tendons and ligaments have had to absorb.

Tendons and ligaments lose strength and flexibility with age. They begin to stretch, flattening your feet as they expand. As a result, you’ll often discover that your arch is shorter and your foot is longer. You may even have to increase your shoe size to accommodate the changes.

In addition to getting longer, your feet also become weaker as you age. The fat pads protecting your heels begin to flatten and spread, making them less effective at absorbing shock. Tendon tears and muscle strains occur more frequently, along with arthritis and foot swelling. Plantar fasciitis, sprains, and other foot pain may begin cropping up due to these structural changes.

These structural changes to your foot require special care. While you can treat the symptoms of sore feet, the best way to address the problem head-on is to purchase shoes that are anatomically sensitive to your feet. That means finding comfortable shoes with excellent support and protection for your soles and heels. The right shoes should work with your feet to keep you standing for many years to come.

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