Our skin gets thinner, dryer, and more brittle as we age. The good news is that thanks to advancements in cosmetic science, there’s a way for older people to maintain healthy skin. Some companies might tout these products as “anti-aging” or that it gives you “youthful-looking skin,” but ultimately, they provide the same thing: hydration.
Common Skin Problems in Seniors
The later we get on in life, the greater the knowledge we accumulate. But aging also comes with a whole set of skin problems we must contend with.
While this skin disease can happen to anyone at any age, older folks are more susceptible to infections. Dermatitis is characterized by dry, itchy skin. In its most severe form, it could lead to open sores due to excessive peeling and shedding. You’d want to avoid this at all costs because having open sores on mature skin could mean more overall health complications down the road.
- Parasitic Skin Infections
If you notice skin lesions or angry-looking rashes on an elderly person’s skin, they might be signs that they’ve been infected by parasites. The difficulty in diagnosing and treating these infections lies in the fact that older people suffer from various diseases that could also manifest as lesions and rashes. Regardless, it would be advisable to see the doctor as soon as you see an abnormal rash on their skin.
- Senile Purpura
Do you see those bruise-like, purple discolorations on elderly folk? This is what’s called senile purpura. It is not as dangerous as dermatitis or a parasitic skin infection. However, for seniors who are especially concerned about their physical appearance, the appearance of senile purpura can be depressing. Luckily, most of these go away on its own and taking a daily prescribed dose of vitamin K could help lessen its appearance.
Skin Care Tips for Seniors
Before you embark on any type of skincare routine, you should visit a dermatologist. As previously mentioned, apart from skin conditions, seniors might also be suffering from other illnesses. Seeing a doctor ensures that what they use for their skin is safe and isn’t contraindicative with other medications.
- When bathing, replace bar soaps with a fragrance-free emollient and don’t take too long in the shower. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing to leave a trace of hydration on the skin. This would help make lotions and moisturizers adhere to the skin better.
- Do not use bath oil when moisturizing elderly skin as the oil might cause them to slip and fall, plus it could cause urinary tract infections.
- Ideally, you’d want different products to moisturize the face and the rest of the body. However, you need to make sure that it’s safe to use for elderly skin. The best face moisturizers for younger people can contain certain ingredients that are not suitable for older folks.
- As with any age, drink the appropriate amount of water daily. Additionally, make sure that sheets, clothes, and other sanitary products that would directly touch their skin is cleaned and changed regularly. Use a mild detergent when washing sheets and clothes.
- Don’t forget to put on sunscreen every time they go out into the sun. Seniors need sunlight as its shown to make bones stronger and their moods lighter. But without proper care, staying in the sun too long would also be disadvantageous to their health.
Caring for senior skin is not too difficult. For the most part, it would involve the same things we did in our 20s and 30s. The main difference is that we need to be more cautious about the ingredients in these products because the wrong one could cause irritations that could, in turn, cause more severe complications.