Aging Feet FAQ
It’s amazing how far our feet carry us through the years. From our first steps to the million different milestones in our lives, they take us throughout this journey. Just as the rest of our body, aging feet changes are inevitable. The fact is, without a doubt, all the steps we’ve taken every day will eventually take a toll on our feet.
Symptoms of Aging Feet
As we age, our cell turnover and collagen production begin to slow down so physical changes are inevitable. The skin on our feet starts thinning, and this includes the fatty layer that cushions our soles and heels from the stress and pressures our feet feel in every step we take. The sweat glands in our feet also become less active as we age, leading to drier skin that can sag or wrinkle. In addition to the general aches and pains, other symptoms of aging feet are bunions, toenail discoloration, stiffness and arthritis, and a few more.
Arthritis in the Feet
Our body naturally loses or decreases in flexibility when we get older, which means our skin becomes less elastic. The lack of flexibility can create stiffness in our joints found in the foot and ankle— better known as arthritis. Arthritis usually affects the big toe or midfoot joints found at the upper part of your feet. This makes it harder to walk or can cause great discomfort when you put pressure on your feet.
Venous pooling is a condition that’s also referred to as chronic venous insufficiency. This usually happens when the valves in the veins don’t function properly, meaning that the veins are less capable of bringing blood back to the heart. One of the causes of this problem is age— and how most parts of the body don’t function as great as they did before. Its symptoms include varicose veins, swelling, and aching, making our feet feel heavy and painful.
A similar condition but not entirely so to this is poor blood circulation. Aging affects the blood flow in the feet. With bad circulation comes pain in the legs, arms, hands, and feet. When cold, they can start to ache and throb. Poor circulation can be identified in symptoms such as swollen feet and ankles, foot cramps, and endless aches. Blood circulation is essential to staying healthy. Unfortunately, it gets a bit more difficult as we age— specifically when it comes to circulating blood in the lower parts of the body like our legs and feet.
One little known fact is that foot changes include changes in our foot size as we get older. Our feet can get wider and longer, which can be bad if we continue to stick to one shoe size for the entirety of our adult lives. In time, our feet may have lower arches because of gravity and the weakening of our tendons and ligaments. This causes the arch in our feet to drop, resulting in wider and longer feet.
Toe & Toenail Changes
Apart from size, our toenails also change in appearance with age. They can become discolored, sometimes thickening, and misaligned. Toes can also change in position as we get olde, a pretty common condition with aging feet. You might find your toes contracted upward or maybe deviating to the left and right. This is because the change in our gait pattern and body’s functional abilities causes our toes to reposition themselves to compensate for it. The possible issues that come with this change are the appearance of corns and calluses that can bring discomfort to our feet.
Antiaging Treatments For Feet
Luckily, the downsides of aging feet can be avoided or managed. There are many available products, regimens, techniques, and tips out there that can help your feet feel years younger!
One of the things you’d want to tackle with aging feet is the skin. Matured skin means less oil and elastin is produced, leaving you with drier and less supple skin that can lead to things like hardened or crack heels that can hurt, wrinkles, and a lot of sagging. The best solution to this is by moisturizing and staying hydrated. There are multiple moisturizing foot creams available in the market, with formulas specifically catered to help bring back the plumpness or moisture in the skin of your feet. The best time to apply these is right after you take a bath while you’re still damp to make sure the moisture locks in!
For venous pooling and circulation problems, the best solution to this is by lifestyle changes. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight, as obesity can be the cause of blocked or weakened valves. You can do this by increasing your activity levels and squeezing in different sorts of exercise in your daily routine. Stretching is very helpful for blood flow development and exercise can help improve circulation and pump blood towards the heart. Sitting and standing for a long time can also be the cause of blood pooling, so make sure to get those legs moving as much as you can! Take breaks and move around or elevate your legs on a footstool if you have to be seated. A healthy diet also helps just as much (or even more!)
Another solution to avoid pain in aging feet is by buying and using the most comfortable shoes for you. With changes such as size, we must adjust to the differences by getting footwear where our feet can comfortably breathe in. Stop purchasing and lessen your wearing of tight narrow shoes or shoes your feet can get easily strained in. In the case that foot ailments like corns and calluses start showing up, you can opt to start wearing padding and getting a wider toe box in your shoes. Shoe inserts can also help you with stiff joints.
If the changes in your feet as you age are causing you ongoing pain or discomfort, make an appointment with a podiatrist to learn more about how to address and treat foot problems.
The amount of stress and pressure we put on our feet every day eventually catches up to us and takes its toll when we get old. These changes are bound to happen, but what’s important is that we continue to give our feet the TLC it needs every day so we can enjoy the rest of what life has to offer!