The last couple of times we focused on various foot problems that affect senior feet; this week we will end the series with a few tips to help prevent certain conditions from taking place. Here are some thoughts.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Wearing shoes that have appropriate support, a low heel, and ample room (especially in the big toe area) can make a significant impact on foot health. Pointy shoes or ones that pinch are particularly hard on feet. Naturally, there will be occasions when many of us deviate from the ideal. For the rest of the time, however, the right shoes can be the difference between foot pain and foot happiness. Thus, try to keep utility in mind when you go on your shopping adventures.
- Regularly check foot size. Believe it or not, our feet can change in size as we grow older. For example, people with bunions tend to realize a wider toe joint area. Subsequently, shoes that once fit wonderfully may no longer be wearable. At the same time, a number of individuals have different-sized feet. For example, one foot may slip perfectly in a size 7 shoe, where the other foot needs a 7 ½ to feel comfy. Independent of purchasing two different sizes, it is best to go with the larger size. You can always buy inserts to make the bigger shoe feel smaller, but you can’t make a smaller shoe bigger (although shoe stretchers might help).
- Keep feet clean and dry. It is important to keep your feet clean and devoid of moisture when you put on your shoes (a mild soap is best). You may even want to use an antifungal foot powder if your feet get sweaty. If they still perspire, then consider implementing the wash/dry process more than once a day. Fungal and bacterial infections nourish off of sweaty, warm places. In the evening when shoes come off, it might make sense to rub an all-natural moisturizing lotion on the skin (so feet do not become cracked and dry).
- Trim toenails. Long toenails can result in multiple problems. What could occur? They can curl over or under, become embedded under the skin, cause shoes to feel tight, result in infections, and ruin just about every pair of socks you own. Subsequently, regularly trim toenails. Nonetheless, you don’t want to cut them excessively short because sores may occur. If toenails seem too thick to address on your own, regular visits with a podiatrist or other foot specialist can help ensure they remain at the proper length.
Foot health is extremely important because we depend on our feet to get us around. Proper care encourages comfort and well-being in so many ways!