Aging takes its toll on all of us and is especially noticeable on our skin. As we age, our skin becomes thinner, less elastic and transparent, making bones and veins more visible. If you’ve had years of sun exposure, the aging process on your skin will be even more pronounced.
Seniors often deal with skin problems as a result of aging. Here are just a few of the things to watch out for:
Older adults will often have dry skin, causing itchiness and redness. This most often happens on elbows, knees, lower legs and arms. Some of the things that exacerbate dry skin include:
• Breathing air that is too dry
• Prolonged sun exposure
• Certain health conditions, such as kidney disease or diabetes.
Medications can also cause itchy dry skin. Because seniors already have thinning skin, scratching will often cause bleeding and that can lead to infection. So, how do you help prevent and treat dry skin in your older adult?
• Use a very good moisturizer or lotion daily, as often as needed.
• Take fewer baths or showers, as the water will dry skin out. Use mild soap when showers are taking place, and do not put additives in bath water.
• Use a dehumidifier in sleeping areas
Seniors bruise easily—far easier than younger adults. The healing process also takes a bit longer. If you notice bruising and don’t know how it got there, talk to a doctor to get to the bottom of it.
We all get wrinkles as we age! But, the environment can play a big part. Sun exposure causes excess and premature wrinkling. Things like smoking and gravity also contribute to wrinkles.
There are lots of products and claims on how to get rid of wrinkles, but very few actually work. Some are even unsafe. If you choose to have any treatment for wrinkles, always go through a dermatologist who is experienced!
Skin Tags and Age Spots
Once referred to as “liver spots,” age spots are brown, flat marks on top of the skin. They are similar to freckles but much larger. Using a heavy-duty sunscreen can help reduce age spots later in life.
Skin tags are similar, but they are tiny pieces of skin that are raised. They are commonly found in women on the neck, folds of the body, eyelids, armpits, groin area and chest. They are usually harmless, but if they become bothersome, a doctor can remove them.
Skin cancer is one of the leading cancers in the US today. Contrary to popular belief, tanning beds can also cause skin cancer. People who are most susceptible to skin cancer are those with fair skin and freckles. If you burn easily, preventing skin cancer should be taken very seriously.
Skin cancer can happen to anyone of any color or any part of the body, although it is most often discovered on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun.
For more information on seniors and skincare, please contact us today!