May 25, 2018 by David Yeomans
The skin is the largest organ in the body. Just as other organs change with age, the skin does as well. For example, the skin produces less oil which leads to dryness. It also gets thinner which reduces its ability to protect against infection or ward off the effects of the sun. Medication and illness may also play a role in age-related skin disorders. The good news is that there are ways to protect the skin. Consider these suggestions from Comfort Keepers home care solutions:
1. Drink plenty of water. It is estimated that half of seniors over 65 are chronically dehydrated. Without proper hydration, the skin cannot properly protect the body. Seniors should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water. This amount should be increased with activity, sweat, or medication with diuretic properties.
2. Use mild soaps and cleansers. Since a senior's skin is thinner and often drier than it was during younger years, seniors should be careful not to use harsh abrasive soaps or cleansers that further dry out the skin. If you need assistance finding a mild soap that is right for your senior loved one, Comfort Keepers home care solutions can help.
3. Wash carefully. Instead of scrubbing and rubbing dry, seniors should gently wash their skin with a mild cleanser and then pat the skin dry. Washing an area 2 or 3 times gently is more effective and safer than scrubbing it roughly and damaging the skin.
4. Moisturize. Moisturizers can help keep the skin healthy and supple. It can also reduce the risk of tearing or ripping. Seniors should find a moisturizer that does not leave the skin oily or greasy. Moisturizers are most effective when applied to skin that is slightly damp (like after it has been patted dry).
5. Use sunscreen. Whenever your loved one spends more than a moment or two in the sun, they should be using a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunblock of at least SPF 15. Even brief exposure to UV rays from the sun increase dryness, hasten wrinkles and spotting, and dramatically increase the risk of skin cancer.
For more information about senior skin safety or to learn more about the many benefits of Comfort Keepers senior home care solutions, contact a senior home care coordinator today.
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