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Age-Related Foot Changes - Topic Overview

Normal changes occur in your feet as you age.

  • Feet tend to spread, possibly causing shoe size to change. Have your feet measured each time you buy shoes. Do not assume that your shoe size has not changed.
  • The bottoms of the feet lose the fatty pads (especially the heel pad) that cushion the feet.
  • Skin becomes thinner and less elastic and may get injured or infected more easily.
  • Ligaments and tendons lose their ability to stretch normally (elasticity).
  • Nails tend to get thick and brittle.

Medical conditions such as obesity, arthritis, diabetes, and poor circulation (in either the veins or arteries of the legs) may increase the risk of foot problems.

Recommended Related to Healthy Seniors

Genes vs. Lifestyle: What Matters Most for Health?

Even if a condition like heart disease runs in your family, you can do a lot to break that pattern. Your choices and lifestyle make a big difference. Some genes lead to disease. "But for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk," says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones.

Read the Genes vs. Lifestyle: What Matters Most for Health? article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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