Skin Care and Aging
As with most things, skin changes as people age. And, since the human body’s skin is one of the things most easily taken for granted, it’s important to take a few minutes to explore what happens as someone ages.
Over time, skin becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer appears plump and smooth. Veins typically become more obvious and bruises or cuts become more easily visible. These things are all a natural part of aging…even if they aren’t pretty.
Luckily, there are some things that can be done to care for aging skin and help it to look and feel better.
Common Skin Care Conditions in Seniors
Skin care conditions in seniors can range from simple issues to more serious concerns. Knowing the common skin care concerns of seniors can help in early diagnosis and treatment.
These can include:
- Stasis Dermatitis (Characterized by dry skin and itching)
- Bruises and Senile Purpura (Characterized by purplish spots that appear on the skin)
- Age spots and skin tags
- Skin cancer
- Viral skin disorders
- Skin infections
For simple things like wrinkles, dry skin and age spots, seniors can try things like avoiding hot showers, using only mild, sensitive soaps, applying moisturizer often and staying hydrated.
For more serious conditions, medical advice is necessary. Remember, when it comes to identifying skin cancer, use the ABCDE method. Look for Asymmetry, Borders that are irregular, Color changes, a Diameter greater than a pencil eraser, and any Evolving symptoms.
Senior Skin Care Tips
While there is no way to reverse the damage done over the course of a lifetime, there are steps seniors can take to prevent further damage and improve overall skin health.
Below are some tips to help improve skin issues in the elderly:
- Limit sun exposure – When going out during the day, always use sunscreen and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun in any capacity. Also remember, the sun follows you in water, so apply extra SPF and wear UV blocking clothes.
- Use a humidifier and lotion – Dry skin is a common complaint at any age. Seniors should take extra care to stay hydrated, use lotion regularly, and invest in a humidifier to add moisture to their home.
- Stop smoking – Smoking has a variety of negative side effects for seniors, but skin care issues are very common. Avoid smoking or quit smoking, if possible.
- Stay as active as possible – Especially important for individuals that are bedridden, it’s important to move often to avoid bed sores and ulcers from developing.
Getting Help at McGregor PACE
If you have concerns about maintaining a healthy skin care routine, help is available. Our all-inclusive services are provided both in our facilities and in participant’s homes. Our goal is to keep seniors remaining as healthy as possible.