Foot care is important at all ages but being kind to your feet as you get older can help keep you mobile and pain-free.
- Healthy feet are essential for comfort and safe walking and there are many things you can do proactively care for your feet as you age.
Painful and uncomfortable feet are not a natural part of growing older or something you should just accept.
Inspect your feet for bumps blisters sores cracked skin painful areas and other problems and peak to your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible to avoid more serious harm.
If you experience ongoing pain, find any blisters or bruises that do not seem to heal well, ask for an appointment with a podiatrist to find a suitable course of treatment for you.
You can contact HMC’s call center #16060 and ask for the Podiatry section. Or call the Podiatry unit in the Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) #40263130 for appointment.
Good foot care can help improve comfort, relieve pain and maintain mobility.
Wash and thoroughly dry your feet for good hygiene
Wash your feet daily to help prevent any infections. If you leave dirt on the skin, it can become irritated and infected. Dry them well, especially between the toes to help prevent Athlete’s foot. If you have some hard skin, apply moisturizing foot cream (not body lotion). Wear a fresh clean pair of socks, change them daily, and keep the insides and outsides of your shoes clean.
It can get harder to cut toenails as you get older but keeping them short will help keep you mobile. Take care to trim them straight across, never at an angle or down the edge as this may cause an ingrown nail. You may need help with this from your podiatrist or a toenail cutting service.
Try to keep your feet warm if you are in an air-conditioned environment. Warm stockings or socks can help. Avoid anything too tight, which can restrict your circulation or cramp your toes.. Bed socks are also a good idea when the weather is particularly cold.
Avoid going barefoot particularly in places where you might slip or tread on a sharp object.
Choosing the best footwear
Shoes should be comfortable from the start, and if they do not fit well, they can make even minor foot problems worse. If your shoes fit well they protect and support your feet and may improve your balance and stability. Poorly fitting shoes or slippers can easily trip you up and cause a fall.
Avoid plastic shoes that do not allow the foot to breathe and will not stretch to accommodate your own foot shape. Check that the heel is held firmly in place. You will find that a lace-up or Velcro fastening shoe will give more support than a slip-on.
Rotate your shoes - avoid wearing the same pair two days in a row
Apply Moisturizing Lotion
Moisturize the skin of the feet, especially the heels; but avoid adding cream between toes.
Orthotics and inserts improve foot health
If you have arthritis or another chronic foot condition your doctor might suggest orthotic shoes or shoe inserts to ease foot pain and correct structural issues and will help you walk more comfortably.
Staying active, committing to regular foot hygiene and protecting your feet from extreme temperatures will help promote healthy blood flow and minimize injury and keep your feet healthy.