June is Older Americans Month and here at Gentle Professional Foot Care we want to dispel some myths about seniors and their feet that may cause injury or disabling foot conditions for our patients.
“I certainly know my shoe size by now and that’s why I can buy shoes without trying them on.”
Your shoe size can increase as you age. It’s important when buying new shoes to have your foot professionally measured and to take your time trying on both shoes and walking around the store for a while before finalizing your purchase. Shoes should feel comfortable from the moment you walk out of the store. Good arch and ankle support, low heels and a roomy toe box can go a long way toward preventing many common foot disorders such as flat feet, ingrown toenails, and ankle sprains. Check the inside of the shoe for loose stitching or rough spots that may result in friction and blisters.
“My feet aren’t bothering me, so no care is currently needed.”
Your feet can serve as an early warning system for the rest your body. Several systemic conditions such as diabetes and peripheral arterial disease may first show signs in your feet. Regular podiatric checkups and developing a regular home foot care regimen will help you spot these and other symptoms when they first appear. Any unusual changes in the feet, skin or toenails should be reported to our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, as soon as possible. In addition, you should wash your feet every day (and dry completely, to prevent athlete’s foot) and also apply a rich moisturizer each night. Skin can become drier as you age, causing painful heel cracks to develop.
“Foot pain is inevitable as you age. You just have to live with it.”
This is simply not true! Yes, as you age the cartilage, bone and other parts of your foot may become worn due to a lifetime of use, but foot pain and disorders can be prevented or at least greatly reduced with the proper care. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a nutritious diet, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake can all help keep your feet healthy (as well as the rest of your body). To learn more ways to be proactive about the health of your feet as you age, contact our Venice office by calling (941) 493-7999.