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The Importance of Skincare in the Elderly

How to care for your skin as you get older

As you age, your skin loses its ability to protect your body as effectively as it did in previous years. The skin acts as a barrier to infections and other hazards to your internal organs so it is vital to your overall health. However, it may need some extra help as it ages. So, how can you help your skin do its job as you get older?

Help your skin do its job
Our body changes with age, most noticably the skin.
So, we must help our skin do its job better in the senior years.

How Skin Ages

The skin contains several glands which produce natural oils keeping the skin moist. The natural production of this oil depletes as you get older, with many suffering from cracked, broken and dry skin. Also, skin loses its elasticity as you age, meaning it will be less supple and is likely to sag and suffer wrinkles. This process can be sped up by increased exposure to sunlight, toxins or by smoking. Poor diet and overall health can exacerbate skin problems in your later years, therefore it is important to be proactive to maintain skin health.

Common Conditions

Infections can develop, particularly on dry, broken skin. Chronic skin conditions elderly people may suffer from include:

· Pruritus

· Xerosis

· Eczema

· Infections

· Other forms of dermatitis

These conditions are often characterized by the appearance of skin lesions, excessive dry patches, itching and inflammation. Many are associated with or are a side-effect of other conditions but can occur independently. Older skin also bruises more quickly and the ability to heal from cuts and bruises is reduced. Skin may therefore scar more prominently and bruises will not fade quickly.

Different conditions affect skin in old age
In the old age the skin gets affected by many different conditions,
all of which end up changing our skin and thus require a better care.

Suggested Skincare

A nurse or doctor can suggest skincare routines based on an examination of the skin, touching to determine moisture levels and determining whether there are any distinct odors coming from the skin. The skincare routine recommended will be based on whether you have naturally aging skin or whether you have a condition that requires treatment. Emollients are often recommended to increase the amount of water in the outer layer of skin in elderly individuals with excessive dryness. Washing products may also have to be changed to fragrance and alcohol free counterparts to avoid drying out the skin. As soap increases the skin’s pH, a substitute may be recommended to avoid bacterial imbalance.

Always seek medical advice if your skin is becoming difficult to treat and maintain with regular products. You may be suffering from an underlying skin condition that requires further treatment.

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