Geriatric Podiatry: the passage of time on your feet

The passage of time also affects our feet and here we are in the scope of geriatric podiatry. A decrease in the adipose tissue in the heel and metatarsal heads can be observed as well as a flattening of the plantar arch, a progressive deficit of venous return, poor skin elasticity and decreased sensitivity, among other factors.

These complex alterations are due to improper gait, prolonged and incorrect use of shoes, trauma and inflammation, fatigue, high blood pressure and diabetes, among others.

As such, it is essential to ensure a geriatric medical follow-up and to have special care with the feet; particularly, at the stage when the nails get thicker, making it difficult to cut it.

Thinner and dry skin is more likely to form calluses, fissures, and mycoses.

Needed care:

There are some precautions to have, such as:

• Cut the toenails straight to avoid corners;
• Moisturize your feet well, preferably before going to bed;
• Do not remove calluses at home, either manually or with stronger products, as they can cause burns;
• After bathing it is important to dry the feet well, especially between the toes and under the toes. The goal is to prevent the appearance of fungi and papillomas, among others;
• Purchase suitable footwear to prevent friction, especially between the toes;
• Always try to wear 100% cotton socks that absorb perspiration and keep the skin drier. This helps to decrease the likelihood of developing fungi.

In case of irregularities, either on the skin or on the nails, you should consult your podiatrist immediately.

Geriatric Podiatry – insoles:

In the case of Geriatric Podiatry, often to compensate for some loads, two types of insoles are used:
• Orthopodiatric Insoles: used as prevention, correction or as compensation.
• Prevention Insoles: widely used in at-risk people such as those having Diabetic Foot. The purpose is to prevent ulcers. This will avoid the risk of amputation, in the future.

  • Text by Dr. António Figueiredo

    PODIATRIST SINCE 2005, GRADUATED FROM CESPU (Escola Superior de Saúde de Vale do Sousa) Gandra – Paredes, professional license nº152 issued by the APP (Portuguese Association of Podiatry).

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