Your feet are placed under a tremendous amount of stress over the course of a lifetime. The feet bear much of the weight during standing, walking, running, and exercising. Because of this excessive wear and tear, the aging process can be especially detrimental to the feet.
You can work closely with your podiatrist to help identify some simple ways to combat the negative effects of aging on your feet in the future.
1. Aging causes skin to dry out.
People often find that their skin becomes drier as they age. The skin loses much of its elasticity and collagen production slows as the body ages. This results in the skin losing its ability to maintain proper hydration.
Feet are susceptible to extremely dry skin. Fissures, which are deep cracks within the skin, can develop when dry skin isn't treated. These fissures can be very painful. They can even become infected over time.
Your podiatrist can help you identify a specialized foot moisturizer that will address your dry skin problems to prevent fissures and their associated infections.
2. Aging wears away foot padding.
Your feet are equipped with fatty pads that act as a buffer between your feet and the soles of your shoes. As the body ages, fat deposits can begin to erode. The fatty pads on the bottoms of your feet may start to disappear with each year that passes.
You could develop calluses or ulcers on your feet if you don't address a loss of foot padding as you age. A podiatrist can evaluate the condition of your feet and recommend some custom inserts to help replace fat loss on the soles of your feet.
These orthotics can be inserted into your shoes to provide your feet with the cushioned comfort they need to remain pain-free.
3. Aging negatively affects circulation.
Another foot problem associated with the aging process is a change in the way your circulatory system works. The blood vessels in your lower extremities can thicken and become very stiff. This change in the anatomy of the blood vessels makes it challenging for the body to maintain a proper exchange of nutrients and eliminate waste from your feet and legs.
Many aging patients suffer from deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and even blood clots as a result of an aging circulatory system. A foot doctor can give you a thorough examination to determine what can be done to lower your risk of developing chronic circulatory problems as you age.