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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

Helping Older Adults Manage the Outside World

The world can become a scary place for an elderly person. If you're a caregiver, these tips can help you help your loved one: Know the route that Grandpa takes to his regular daytime activities. Make sure Mom carries identification and your contact information with her whenever she's out of the house. Check that your parent's or grandparent's car is well maintained. Check often for problems with windshield wipers, tires, and brakes. Even those who drive safely by day may suffer night blindness,...

Read the Helping Older Adults Manage the Outside World article > >

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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