The skin naturally changes with age. Skin becomes less oily, less elastic, thinner, and more susceptible to bruising as we get older. As a result, seniors may have skin problems or concerns that they did not have when they were younger. However, there are a variety of things that individuals can do to preserve their skin looking and feeling wonderful as long as possible.
Skin Complaints in the Elderly
The most prevalent skin problem among the elderly is wrinkle development. Wrinkles are one of the most obvious indicators of age. When the skin’s flexibility and elasticity are lost, wrinkles emerge. You’ve probably heard of “laugh lines” and “worry lines,” since they’re some of the first to appear on the face as a result of sun exposure or smoking. Sun exposure and smoking can both speed up wrinkle formation by triggering them to develop sooner than they would otherwise.
Drying skin is another frequent form of age-related skin deterioration. Dry skin is more prevalent among the elderly because our skin dries and creates less oil as we grow older. Although dry skin may not seem to be a major issue, it can get irritating if it Itches. Because aging skin heals slowly, cuts or scrapes may easily become infected. So, keep an eye on your dryness and use your favorite lotion to relieve itching.
The third and most serious skin condition affecting the elderly is cancer. The sun is largely to blame for skin cancer, so avoiding sun exposure is essential to preserving your skin healthy. Sun exposure may also induce “age spots,” or black-brown patches on the face, hands, and arms. Age spots should be examined for changes on a regular basis in order to detect whether they are developing into skin cancer.
The National Institute on Aging advises checking your skin once per month for malignancy, and provides these suggestions to spot it early:
Check Moles, Birthmarks, and Other Parts of the Skin for the ABCDE’s:
A = Asymmetry. One side of the growth looks different or larger than the other.
B = Borders that are irregular
C = Color changes or more than one color
D = Diameter greater than the size of a pencil eraser
E = Evolving. This means the growth changes in size, shape, symptoms (itching, tenderness), surface (especially bleeding), or shades of color
If you notice any of these signs, you should see your doctor right away to determine whether or not you have skin cancer.
Elderly Skin Care Tips
Some things you can do to keep elderly skin healthy are:
Use soap that contains a moisturizer or is formulated for dry skin
Use a moisturizing cream or lotion. There are hundreds of options, so you can find one that feels good for you, and even add it to your self care routine by choosing a relaxing scent.
Bathe every other day rather than every day to prevent drying out the skin.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
Limit caffeine which dries you out.
Use humidifiers to add moisture to the air.
Avoid sun exposure, especially during the heat of the day, between 10am and 4pm.
If you do go out in the sun, use sunscreen, wear a hat, and wear loose fitting clothing that covers as much exposed skin as possible.