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.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised October 1, 2012

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