By Dr. Donna Barrese
December 28, 2016
Category: treatments
Tags: Foot Care   Aging  
As people age, foot problems become more apparent due to several reasons. Diseases, poorly trimmed toenails, unfitting shoes, and poor blood flow can lead to several foot problems. Some foot problems could be symptoms of conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and nerve disorders. With proper foot care and seeking the services of a podiatrist, it is possible to keep the feet healthy and avoid some conditions. Here are a few tips for taking care of the feet.

1. Regular Checkups

An important part of proper foot care is having a podiatrist to check the feet regularly. A check up can help to detect certain conditions or problems while they are still mild. If there is a corn, bunion, callus, blister, scrape or a cut in the foot, it is necessary to visit a doctor. Some people may attempt to treat conditions, such as corns, with over-the-counter medications; however, this is not advisable.

2. Keep the Feet Soft and Smooth

It is necessary to wash the feet daily and dry them well using cornstarch or powder. Gently applying a layer of lotion or jelly helps to keep the legs soft and prevent dry skin. Moisturizing the feet several times a day is important, especially during the winter months. When washing the legs, it's advisable to use warm water with liquid soap. Those who love soaking their feet should avoid Epsom salts as they can be somewhat drying.

3. Pick the Right Shoes

Since older people are more vulnerable to different foot problems, wearing the right shoes with maximum support is a good precautionary measure. Flat shoes and flip flops do not provide adequate arch support. Those who have shoes that lack enough arch support should try to minimize the time they wear them. A podiatrist can help with choosing the right shoes for a patient. Additionally, it is wise to have alternate shoes to wear every day and to change socks or stockings more than once in a day.

4. Exercises

Simple exercises, such as walking, swimming, and bicycling, can help to strengthen the muscles and improve health. As a result, blood circulation improves. Having a gentle foot massage improves circulation in the lower extremities. It is also good for people who have plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
While aging, foot care should be a continuous process. People should avoid spending a lot of time in shoes as this encourages bacterial and fungal infections. Whenever there is any physical change in the feet, making an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis is necessary.