People expect to get old. Their teeth wear out and
they get fillings and replacements. Their eyes wear out and they get
glasses. Their hearing wears out and they get hearing aids. But somehow
people never expect their feet to wear out. Their feet are supposed to
go on forever, and yet feet work harder and under worse conditions than
most any other part of the body.
Older people almost resent the fact that their
formerly good, hard-working feet are now giving them all kinds of aches
and pains, which prevent them from getting around and enjoying life.
The care of the aging foot requires a separate,
special set of skills and treatment. Improper care and hygiene can very
quickly lead to severe infections, ulceration, limited
ability to walk, or even confinement to a wheelchair.
Older people want to be independent. For that
reason, minor aches and pains, sores, dull aches, cramps, or changes in
condition should be cared for promptly. These often are the early
warning signs of impending severe foot trouble. So when you see or feel
minor aches and pains, inflammation, or changes in skin or nail color,
see your podiatrist.
Here are some things that an older person should do
to help prevent foot problems:
Wash your feet with mild face soap and warm water. Do not
use hot water.
Dry the feet with a clean soft towel, without rubbing the
skin. Use a blotting action. Dry carefully between the toes. Do not
force the toes apart. Use a cotton tip swab if necessary to get in
between the toes.
Massage lotion into the skin of the feet, especially the
heels after every bath or shower. Keep the feet warm. Use a clean pair
of stockings each day. Do not wear circular garters. Use loose fitting
bed socks if desired.
Do not cut your corns or calluses. Never use corn plasters
or corn remedies. With impaired circulation or impaired sensitivity,
damage can be severe before discomfort warns you.
Do not use strong antiseptic drugs on the feet,
particularly Tincture of Iodine, Lysol or Carbolic Acid.
Restrict or eliminate the use of tobacco in any form. It
constricts blood vessels that may be having trouble supplying the proper
amount of blood.
If your eyesight is impaired, have some member of your
family examine your feet at least once a day for blisters, sores or
If you soak your feet use warm (never hot) water, if
necessary have someone check the temperature or use a bath thermometer.
Decreased sensation impairs the ability to evaluate temperature.
Get assistance from a podiatrist at the first sign of a
blister, an infection, ingrowing toenails, or trouble with bunions,
corns or calluses.
A little common sense and prompt care will keep the
older person walking and working with comfort for many years.
Can a podiatrist help your feet last longer? We
make it easy for you to find out. Here's how....
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers
maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities and provide
24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including
Blue Cross / Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file
all necessary insurance forms and make every effort to assure you of
maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expense.
You are invited to make an appointment today to relieve your foot
problems by calling us at 970-493-4660 or 970-667-0769.