Like the rest of your body, much about your feet can change as you age. Externally, you might notice changes in their size or shape, in the texture of the skin, or in the way that they function. Internally, there can be changes in circulation, bone health, and the flexibility of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Ailments such as arthritis and diabetes are common. The more you know about the changes you can anticipate, the more likely it is that you will see your podiatrist in time to have them accurately diagnosed and appropriately treated before serious problems develop. Here are some suggestions from foot doctor Dr. James M. McKee.
Be alert to changes in the appearance of your foot, particularly to one toe which seems to rise above the others, which might be a hammertoe, and to the development of a bony enlargement on the inner edge of your foot, which could be a bunion. You may notice pain with either, along with difficulty standing, walking or wearing shoes.
Diabetics are more likely than others to experience a loss of sensation in their extremities and to suffer ulcerated wounds. It’s important that you inspect your feet regularly for small nicks and cuts. If it’s hard for you to see your feet, ask a loved one to help, or place a small mirror on the floor and hold your foot above it to see what’s going on.
Trim toenails regularly, using a clipper. Prevent ingrown toenails by trimming straight across, rather than rounding the corners. If it’s become challenging to manage this task independently, talk to your podiatrist. S/he will have ideas to help you.
Osteoporosis frequently causes stress fractures. Talk to your podiatrist if your foot hurts in the same place day after day, especially if the pain is localized on the top of your foot.
Of course, the best thing you can do for your feet at any ages is to cultivate a relationship with a foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, your board-certified podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to care for your feet, ankles, and lower legs. Schedule an appointment with Dr. James M. McKee at Podiatry Group of Annapolis on Solomons Island Road in Annapolis, MD. Call us at 410-224-4448 or get started online today.