Getting old is unfortunately a fact of life and one we can’t avoid. When will someone discover a magic potion?


After your feet have carried you for millions of kilometres through your life, they can eventually wear down. But there are ways to keep your feet healthy as you age – through proper care and regular check-ups.



What happens to feet as I grow old?


As you age, you can lose cushioning and soft tissue fat in the pads of your heels and balls of your feet, near your toes. Like the skin on your face, there is also a loss of elasticity in the skin on your feet, making it thin and vulnerable.


Bone deformities – such as bunions or arthritis – and difficulties undertaking basic foot care, can lead to foot health issues and sometimes an increased risk of falls – which for many can have drastic consequences.


Nails also become more brittle, thicker and harder, making them difficult to trim and prone to ingrown toenails, fungal breakouts and other infections.


Can foot problems be improved?


For older people, most foot problems can be improved by regular maintenance and care, keeping weight down, shoe modification and use of cushioned insoles.


To undertake regular foot maintenance, some elderly people have difficulty reaching their feet or have bad eyesight, so simple things like cutting toenails can be an issue – if this is the case get a family member to help or go and see a podiatrist.


If you can cut your toenails yourself, follow our advice: Every three to four weeks, after you’ve showered or soaked your feet, use small clippers to trim, cutting the nail by following its shape.


To most people’s surprise, cutting straight across (as we've all been told) is not necessarily the right way to cut your nails. Nails come in all different shapes. Whilst most people have nails that grow relatively straight across, those with slightly curved nails can use a small nail file to round off the corners after trimming. But whatever you do, don’t dig down the sides, pick at or cut too much nail corner away. This will most definitely cause you to develop an ingrown toenail or infection. Not sure what shape your nails are or how to cut them? - come and see us!


It is also important to have your feet measured frequently as the bones in your feet change with age, this way you can ensure you choose shoes that fit well and are comfortable.


Taking good care of your feet as you age is good for your foot health as it helps you stay active and mobile.




When should you see a podiatrist?


Your feet are mirrors of your health. Warning signs of health conditions can be dry skin, brittle nails, burning and tingling sensations in your feet, or feelings of cold, numbness, and discolouration. If these occur, comes and see us along with your GP, and we will be able to pinpoint the cause.


Regular check-ups with us are recommended, especially if you cannot look after your feet yourself and you have no one to help you. Nails that grow too long can become infected and if you are diabetic – which has a higher risk factor as we age – infection can lead to more serious illness.


If you think you’d like some help, contact us today!