As we age, our feet may be more prone to certain disorders. Normal, long-term wear and tear can be contributing factor to conditions such as osteoarthritis and metatarsalgia. The feet can also be the place where serious medical problems first show up. We see this in the case of diabetes, peripheral arterial disease and certain nerve conditions. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM, we’d like to offer some tips on taking care of senior feet:
- Choose good quality, properly fitted shoes. This is one of the most important things that seniors (and patients of all ages) can do for their podiatric health. Many foot problems can be avoided by wearing shoes that have a roomy toe box and allow the feet to breathe. The same goes for shoes that provide good arch and ankle support. Shoes should be comfortable from the day you buy them.
- Inspect feet daily. You should look your feet over every day (or, if you can’t see all parts of your feet easily, ask someone to do this for you). Changes in color, shape, temperature can all be early signs of foot problems. Growths, sores or wounds, or toes moving out of position are all good reasons to make an appointment to come into our Somers Point office for a checkup.
- Wash feet every day and dry completely, be especially sure to dry the area between the toes. Wear absorbent socks and, if you sweat profusely, change them more than once a day.
- Work at keeping good circulation in your lower legs and feet. This means not sitting for long periods of time, getting regular exercise, putting your feet up when resting and not smoking—this restricts blood flow.
- Schedule regular podiatric checkups. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Paul S. DeMarco can help you recognize foot problems in their earliest stages when they are most easily treated and can help you develop a foot care regimen to ensure the health of your toes, feet and ankles.
Remember, your feet carry the whole rest of your body. Treat them well and give them the attention they deserve and they will reward you with many years of living an active life. If you have any concerns or questions about taking care of your feet as you age, contact our office by calling (609) 927-4894.