Many people don't give much thought to their feet unless there is a problem, and sometimes people go their entire lives without any problems- until they get older. Ageing feet can have their own unique set of problems after carrying their body around for several decades. Additionally, it is estimated than by the time the average human reaches the age of 80 years old, they have walked an incredible 110,000 miles! Here is what you and your hardworking feet might experience as you grow older and what to look for:
Keep You Toenails Clipped
As you age, everything slows down. This includes your toenails. But they still need to be trimmed regularly. However, they also tend to grow in thicker. If your range of motion isn't very good, you may have a difficult time cutting your nails. Excess abdominal fat or fluid may prevent you from even being able to bend over enough to reach your nails. Sometimes hand strength isn't sufficient to care for your nails yourself. Conditions like arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and residual weakness from a stroke make using a toenail clipper difficult if not impossible. Long toenails can eventually begin to curl under. They can also be very painful, making it difficult to wear shoes and perform your activities of daily living. While you could go to a beauty salon for a pedicure, it's best to have your nails clipped at a podiatry office instead. This gives the clinician the opportunity to inspect your feet for any other potential problems.
Look For Toenail Changes
Hormonal changes, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical conditions, such as anemia, can also affect the health of your toenails. Additionally, long nails provide more opportunity for opportunistic fungi to invade your nail bed. If your toenails are extremely thick, crumble, break and split, have ridges in the nails, the nail is discolored and yellow, and you smell a foul odor, chances are you have a nail fungus. Many times, the nails become so thick, a standard nail clipper isn't even able to clip the nail. There are many so-called home remedies for foot fungus, but the reality is this is something that needs to be treated by a podiatrist and prescription drugs.
Pay Attention To Nail Color
Most people think of skin cancer as affecting your skin. People are told to pay attention to any changes in their moles. But a change in the color of your toenails can also be indicative of a melanoma. If one toenail turns dark or has a dark spot, this could be a problem.
Even if you are currently having any issues with your feet, it's a good idea for all older adults to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to do a wellness check.