Many of us use sunscreens to protect our skin from the effects of sun exposure. However, as people age, skin products used should also change as skin texture, sensitivity, and priority occur. Because of this, it is important that the right skin care for seniors is accessible. This guide discusses various skin conditions among seniors and tips for optimal skin health.
The skin cells of older adults undergo a slower renewal process. This explains some aging symptoms such as feeling like skin looks less hydrated or as smooth as before. Further, seniors are more susceptible to skin disorders such as viral infections, bacterial infections, senile purpura, xerosis/asteatotic eczema, or melanoma.
You can typically identify signs of a skin disorder or other adverse conditions when the skin begins to have abnormal pigmentation, dryness, rashes, open sores, scaly skin, bumps, etc. These skin conditions may be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungus, diabetes, genetics, or even sun exposure. New or undiagnosed skin conditions often require a visit to the doctor or dermatologist.
In order to maintain skin health while aging, seniors must adopt lifestyles and routines that promote healthy skin. The following tips may come in handy for your loved ones:
It is recommended that seniors stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and other liquids in order to compensate for the changes in body temperature and to curb dehydration. Furthermore, older adults are advised to reduce their consumption of soda, alcohol and other drinks that tend to cause dehydration. But of course, everything in moderation. Being conscious of caffeine intake can also be beneficial for seniors. When caffeine is consumed in excess, there is increased vulnerability, not just to skin conditions, but also anxiety disorders, headaches, discomfort, and sleep imbalance.
The use of moisturizing cream helps keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness or itchiness. Often, older adults with dry skin are advised to not use soaps that have a strong fragrance. A milder soap and use of less hot water is recommended, as hot water can cause further dryness. Dry skin can also lead to atopic dermatitis, or eczema, causing a skin rash and/or cracking.
Humidifiers improve the air moisture and create a living environment that may also help with skin dryness among seniors. A simple step, such as this one, is an easy aid in skin health without adding additional steps to your loved ones routine.
Sun exposure can place seniors at risk of skin discoloration, expedite the onset of wrinkles, or even lead to cancer. It is recommended that your loved ones are kept away from the sun when it is at its peak. Accompanying them for early morning walks before sunrise or a walk at sunset is best. If for any reason they have to be out, make sure they wear a hat, sunscreen, and light clothes that cover their skin, as possible.
It is important that your loved ones have access to medical practitioners on a consistent basis. As many seniors age, it becomes more difficult to schedule and make every appointment on their own. For many, it is helpful to have someone accompany them to these appointments, or reside in an assisted living community that brings the medical professionals right to them.
PLC communities help alleviate some of the obstacles surrounding frequent medical visits by making it easy for the residents to access medical care through the on-site visits of nurses, doctors, dentists, and other health practitioners. Many communities will also offer free transportation to medical appointments.
As aging occurs, it is important to be conscious not only of more prominent medical needs, but also simple preventative measures as mentioned above. For more information on a community for you, visit our Find A Community page for a location near you!