The American Academy of Dermatology states that aging of skin cannot be reversed, but lifestyle changes and habits can help improve the skin health.
Hydrate the Skin
The human organ that is the skin needs hydration and protection from the sun. As aging progresses, protection is especially important. Skin becomes thinner and starts to lose collagen and elastin. Fat and connective tissues that once protected the skin start to weaken and disappear.
Dry, cracking skin can lead to infections and/or may be an indicator of more serious problems.
Scratches and cuts can take longer to heal.
Bruising happens easily and more often.
Skin Care Advice
There are many things one can do to have less skin irritation.
Drink liquids. Keep a container of water (perhaps with lemon) or other refreshing liquid within easy reach at all times.
Make appetizing, healthy meals.
Make time for doctor recommended exercises.
Encourage short naps around one in the afternoon.
Make sure that skin is cared for with recommended lotions, after hand washing, etc.
Seniors should never use sunlamps or tanning beds.
Skin Protection Outdoors is Essential
Protect the skin areas from the elements when outdoors.
Use sun screen all year round. (as recommended by health professional and/or family)
Cover your head and/or stay in the shade.
Long loose and light weight sleeves and pants should be worn.
Protect yourself from wind burn and cold in the winter with hats, gloves and scarves.
Schedule times in sunny areas before ten in the morning or after four in the afternoon.
Encourage sun glasses to protect the eyes all year round.
Cleanse the Skin Gently
Fewer baths are recommended for the older adult. However, cleanliness is still imperative to prevent bed sores and other skin irritations.
Baths or showers should be done in warm, not hot, water with a very mild soap or soap substitute.
Use cleanser sparingly, and rinse the skin thoroughly.
Apply moisturizers to wet skin, as recommended by a health professional.
It is not recommended to add oils to bath water, because it increases the risk for falling.
Prevent Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers
Bed bound or wheel chair individuals need extra help in keeping the skin healthy. Protecting individuals who have restrictive ability to move around are susceptible to pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers.
Blood restricting pressure on ankles, elbows, back, tail bones, hips, heels and knees are the most vulnerable.
Diabetics are most at risk for developing serious infections due to pressure sores.
Alleviate problems by
keeping the skin dry
changing the individual’s position every two hours
using pillows and products that relieve pressure
Report Skin Problems Immediately
Skin problems can indicate serious health issues and should be addressed appropriately.
Immediately alert a health care professional of any sign of Decubitus (bed sores), bruising or open bleeding skin anywhere on the body. Report persistent dry skin, cracking, or itching to a health care professional.
For more information visit: www.aad.org