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6 Ways Your Feet Can Change With Age

Updated: Oct 8


feet changes with age

Life is a journey and can be a wild one at that. We're born, we go through childhood and adolescence, to make the transition into adulthood. As people transition from adulthood into their golden years, some might notice their feet beginning to change in ways, or cause problems, that they never had to even consider years if not decades ago. These are 6 ways that your feet can change as you age.



6 Ways Your Feet Can Change With Age Include:


1. The skin on your feet might become dryer

  • There can be many causes for dry skin on the feet, including diabetes, neuropathy, or menopause in women.


  • Sometimes, outside of these reasons, aging alone can cause the oil and sweat glands everywhere, including your feet to not work as well as they once did, leading to dry skin.



2. Your feet might become more swollen

feet changes age

  • Edema or swelling can be one change seen in your feet as you age. Increased swelling or new swelling can happen to the feet for many reasons including diabetes, but one of the most common reasons is due to veins that aren't working correctly.


  • Inside your veins are little doors that keep blood and fluid from pooling in your body. As we age, sometimes these doors don't work as well as they once did, and in the feet and legs, this can lead to a build-up of fluid in your legs and feet, and lead to swelling.



3. Your shoe size might become larger

  • Another surprising change to your feet that you might notice as you age is that your feet seem to get bigger.


  • You aren't actually growing, but the increase in size is due to the arch of your foot collapsing, causing your foot to seem longer.



4. Your toenails may become thicker or start to grow in a U-shape

feet changes with age

  • One of the biggest changes that people can also see in their feet with age is thicker toenails or nails that begin to grow in a U shape. This can be caused by many reasons including infection by fungus, yeast, or bacteria.


  • Certain health issues including diabetes can make you more prone to nail fungus due to diabetes making your immune system less effective in fighting of any infection, fungus included.



5. Pain to the ball of your foot

  • As we age, we lose fat in our feet. One of the many jobs for fat in your feet is for a cushion when walking or standing. This fat is located especially in the ball of the foot, heel, and toes as well.


  • With aging, this fat can be lost, which can cause pain when standing or walking, known as metatarsalgia. The fat loss especially to the ball of the foot can lead to calluses or seed corns on the sole of your foot as well.



6. New bunions, hammertoes, and other toe deformities

feet changes with age

  • One effect of aging can be loss of muscle mass all over the body, and your feet are no exception.


  • Decades of a sendentary lifestyle combined with not eating enough bioavailable protein can lead to severe muscle wasting all over the body, and the feet included.


  • Toe and joint alignment is controlled by strong muscle groups in your feet, being in balance with one another. Once one muscle group starts to overpower another group, or overall muscle weakness is happening, this throws off the delicate balance in your feet, and can lead to bunions, hammertoes, and other toe deformities or dislocations.



Key Takeaways

  • There are many changes that can happen to your feet with aging including dry skin, calluses, foot pain, bunions and hammertoes.


  • These things are not 100% going to happen as we all age, but it is important to keep these changes in mind as you move through life. There are certain lifestyle habits or practices you can adapt to increase your chances of having healthy feet for life.


  • If you are noticing any changes to your feet, book an appointment with your local podiatrist or foot doctor today for treatment options.


feet changes with age

Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona Today

Are you looking for a podiatrist or foot doctor in the Phoenix area? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.






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About the author

Dr. Sondema N. Tarr, DPM - Board Certified Podiatrist

Hello everyone! My name is Dr. Tarr. I am a foot doctor and also the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona. To learn more about me, and the practice click below. 

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