Elderly Skin Care

Elderly Skin Care: Tips for Taking Care of Aging Skin and Avoiding Disease

When we age, our bodies undergo several biological changes. These changes affect how our bodies work and react. One change we may notice is that your skin and teeth are not the same as it used to be. As we enter into our senior years, adopting a skin care and dental care routine is essential.

It is important to note that if you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from any of these conditions to contact a healthcare professional immediately.

Most Common Skin Problems of Seniors

The first thing you need to do is educate yourself about senior skin care. Aging skin is more sensitive and susceptible to a lot of skin diseases and conditions. Skin becomes thinner and naturally dryer, making it much easier to damage and dry out. When this does happen, it takes much longer to heal.

This means that senior skin is more prone to irritation, scaling, and infection. Without a proper skin care routine, one may just end up with a variety of problems. While everyone’s skin is different, there are some conditions that we should be aware of.

Senior Skin Care Infographic

Dermatitis:

Dermatitis is common in all age groups but can become especially dangerous for those concerned with senior skin care. Dermatitis is characterized by overly dry or itchy skin. In more mild cases, this may be stasis dermatitis where there is just some irritation and dryness.

However, if the symptoms become worse, you may be looking at exfoliative dermatitis which has more excessive peeling and shedding. It is important to get these conditions under control as soon as possible because they can lead to a wide range of serious infections that could put the individual’s overall health and safety at risk.

Senile Purpura:

It is perfectly normal for some seniors to have discoloration of the skin. This specific disorder refers to the purple spots that appear on the body (namely arms and legs). This is caused by the skin getting so thin that the blood vessels and capillaries get exposed due to their proximity to the surface.

Skin Infections/ parasites:

If you notice an unsightly rash, swelling, or skin that is abnormally warm to the touch, this may indicate that they are suffering from a skin infection or parasite.

From bacterial to parasitic infections, this is a very severe problem that needs to be dealt with immediately.

Skin Growths:

Although this is not necessarily something you can prevent with proper senior skin care, this is an important thing to look out for. If you notice any unusual growths or new skin tags, it may be time to go to the doctor for a quick visit.

While most growths are not cancerous, it is better to be safe than sorry. Have them checked out immediately and monitor them to identify issues before they escalate out of control.

There are some important tidbits to keep in mind to reduce damage and limit skin irritation.

Senior Skin Care Tips

1. Try not to take an excessive number of showers. It is good to be clean but showering too much can increase damage and strain to the skin. When you do shower or bath, avoid using very hot and steamy water.

2. Try to avoid soaps that have a lot of artificial ingredients or fragrances. The milder, the safer.

3. Apply mild moisturizers on the skin after every shower and bath. Hydration is important for elderly skin care.

4. Clothes, sheets, and sanitary products must be changed regularly, especially if the individual is bedridden.

5. Always wear sunscreen before going out into the sun, even when you plan on sitting in a car.

6. Avoid smoking cigarettes and cigars.

7. Drink water daily and always stay hydrated, especially when it is hot outside.

8. During the winter or other “dry” times, it may be wise to invest in a room humidifier.

9. Regularly visit a dermatologist.

Incorporating these steps into your daily routine brings you one step in the direction of great senior skin care and a healthier lifestyle.