As you age, you may notice your skin is changing. It becomes less supple, thinner and drier, injures more easily and heals more slowly. As a result, seniors are prone to skin problems including:
- Itching, or pruritus, is common secondary to dryness that happens as the skin ages.
- Purple Spots, or senile purpura, is when purplish spots appear on the arms and legs due to the thinness of the skin and frailty of the blood vessels. It is most common in those taking any type of blood thinner, including aspirin.
- Shingles is caused by the same virus as chicken pox. Approximately half of the shingles cases occur after the age of 60.
As you age the need for skin protection increases. With a few simple steps, you can help prevent the common senior skin problems:
Eat the right foods and drink water
It is important to have your diet include foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Foods such as green vegetables, melons, berries, walnuts and avocados help your skin feel and look refreshed. Supplement your diet with plenty of water. Water refreshes the body and flushes out the toxins that can cause skin problems.
Use a Humidifier
As you age, your skin tends to become dry, especially in winter. The dry air can cause redness and cracking. To help eliminate these problems you need to add moisture to the air. A humidifier can be purchased at your local home goods or home improvement store. A great place to put it is in your bedroom and run it while you sleep.
Apply sunscreen regularly
While we all love the sun, the UV rays do more damage than good. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. To help prevent the damage that UV rays can do, apply sunscreen regularly and cover up with protective clothing while out in the sun for extended periods of time. This also includes wearing sunglasses to help protect your eyes and the skin around them.
Avoid hard soaps and excessive washing
While cleansing your skin is important, you have to avoid over-cleansing it. Most seniors do not lead an overly active lifestyle, washing the face with just water is often sufficient.
Use a moisturizing cream
As mentioned earlier, as you age your skin doesn’t retain moisture as easily. A good moisturizing cream is a must and should be applied to your face, neck and arms several times a day. Look for a cream that contains natural ingredients such as vitamins A and E, aloe and cucumber extract.
If you are struggling skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.