Once the oily breakouts of our teenage years are over, it’s easy to think that the worst of our skin care troubles are behind us. However, proper skin care is just as important for seniors. As we get older, our skin needs even more special attention to stay healthy. With a few easy changes, your skin can look and feel better, as well as remain protected from severe health concerns such as infection and skin cancer.
Skin Changes As You Age
It’s totally normal to experience changes in your skin’s texture as you get older. But what causes these changes in the first place? Firstly, the skin’s outer layer (or epidermis) begins to get thinner with age. The number of cells containing pigment decreases, causing skin to look paler or even translucent. And as the blood vessels in your skin become more delicate with age, it makes bruising more obvious and last longer. Many older people, especially women, experience reduced oil production after menopause. This can lead to skin that feels drier or itchy.
It’s also very normal for your subcutaneous fat layer to shrink with age, reducing your skin’s natural padding and making it more vulnerable to injury. Wounds may also take up to four times as long to heal, which can worsen pressure ulcers or other types of damage. These changes are a large part of what causes wrinkles to form. As skin gets drier, thinner, and less elastic, with fewer fat reserves underneath to stretch it out, wrinkles inevitably begin to form.
In short, as we age our skin tends to be:
- Thinner and paler.
- More susceptible to bruising, irritation, and skin infections.
- Dry and itchy.
- More prone to wrinkles and age spots.
- Slower to heal from cuts and bruises.
While some skin changes may be cause for concern, these symptoms are normal. However, your changing skin requires a little extra care to remain healthy.
How To Take Care Of Aging Skin
One of the biggest concerns in senior skin care is the sun. Seniors are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, and half of skin cancer deaths occur in people over the age of 65. Because the adverse effects of the sun accumulate over the years, we can often find ourselves suffering the much-belated consequences of younger days at the beach. Luckily, you can take many steps in the present to help protect your skin from the sun. First, avoid being out in the sun at all during the hottest parts of a sunny day. Stick to the shade, wear light clothes that cover your skin, and a hat to protect yourself when necessary. Sunscreen is always a good idea, especially moisturizers with SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum protection.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of skin cancer, be sure to remember the ABCDE rule: look for asymmetrical moles, a changing or uneven border, variation in color, a diameter wider than an inch, and an evolving shape, size, or color.
Aside from protecting skin from the sun, it’s also wise to keep skin moisturized. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkling, itching, and discomfort. Using fragrance-free and moisturizing bath products is a great way to help your skin recoup some of its lost moisture. Well-moisturized skin makes a better protective barrier, reducing inflammation and irritation.
Lastly, because seniors’ skin tends to be more prone to injury and takes longer to heal, you should do what you can to avoid any cuts or bruises in the first place. Wear protective gloves while gardening or during other activities that might expose your skin to cuts or irritation. When you use cleaning products, putting on gloves can also help protect your skin from irritation from the chemicals.
Get Help With Your Skin Care Regimen
Staying on top of proper skin care can be time-consuming and easy to forget. Luckily help with skin care, bathing, and outdoor activities are all part of what an in-home caregiver can offer. Many seniors struggle with getting in and out of the tub, remembering to keep their skin consistently moisturized, or monitoring potentially troublesome moles. An in-home caregiver is a great advocate to help you stick with healthier skin care routines, stay independent, and continue thriving while aging in place.
About Generations Home Care
Generations Home Care personalized in-home care and support services help those recovering from illness, injury, or surgery, living with a chronic disease, or dealing with the natural process of aging. We help people live a fuller, healthier, and independent life.
Our caregivers are trained in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended COVID-19 safety precautions. We offer levels of care ranging from companionship, to respite for the primary family caregiver, to homemaking services, to assistance with activities of daily living, to Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Generations Home Care takes a holistic approach and emphasizes a consistent, client-centered plan of care.
Our Specialty Services Include:
- Rehab or hospital-to-home programs for safe discharge.
- Short-term post-operative care during recovery periods.
- Non-medical life management services for people with chronic conditions.
- Veteran’s connection to care program.
- Live-in services and couples care.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today at 602-595-HOME (4663) or by filling out the contact form on our website.