BLOG - REGULAR BLOG BY JANET McGROGGAN - PRINCIPAL PODIATRIST 

Posts from November 2017

It’s a fact, they exist and although I am often told by carers (who in my opinion have some questionable tasks to perform in the caring industry) that they cannot bear to look at them. They’re only feet!!!!! 
 
I suppose older people’s feet are just as important as many other areas of their bodies, aging has a huge effect many parts of us but feet, if neglected can become a real health hazard. 
 
Let’s start at the skin… skin becomes drier and thinner as we age, and this is a problem as dry, thin skin tears easily and heals slowly. 
I wrote about chilblains last week and the natural progression from this is to write about Raynaud’s disease.  
 
People are becoming increasingly familiar with the name ‘Raynaud’s’ but like many conditions (‘erm OCD) people chuck it around without really knowing what it is. 
 
Raynaud’s can be simply Raynaud’s Disease or Raynaud’s Phenomenon. Phenomenon makes it sound like some kind of crazy one-off incident but in medical terms this means that the condition (Raynaud’s) is part of a bigger illness or syndrome, such as Scleroderma which is an autoimmune condition. So, for today let’s take Raynaud’s in isolation. 
Chilblains… ‘Oooh my chilblains!’ Sounds like something your granny might have said in the stone age, but chilblains are still around, affecting 1 in 10 people, and they do not only occur in the elderly. 
 
So, what are they? Firstly, they are very painful in a burning and/or itchy way. Usually they are small patches that occur on the extremities, that is fingers, toes, nose and ears. They are red, blue or purple and can be swollen, crack and even cause skin breakdown. 
People always want to know why they have hard skin as if there is a magical way to never have hard skin again.  
 
We can improve hard skin with routine trips to a podiatrist and regular applications of a foot cream with 10% Urea in it.  
 
Filing twice a week helps too but waiting three months and then rubbing your feet until they burn with your cheese grater of choice is never a good idea. 
 
But why, oh why, do we get it? 
So, following on from last week’s Silver Sock revelation, I had to talk about Bamboo socks. 
 
And frankly socks are so important and, also, current (think men wearing brogues and going sockless and cue fungal infections) that I might ramble on about this for a few weeks hence!! 
 
Bamboo is a material like no other and creating socks out of this material is genius. Why? Let me list the ways. 
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