Have you ever wondered why babies have such soft skin? They haven't lived through windy weather, sunburns and dry air yet, so their skin is is perfect condition. Senior skin, however, has been through a lot, so it's typically in very different condition than that of younger people. In order to protect your skin and keep it in good shape, here are some tips:
Skin can dry out quickly, leading to itchy, ashy flakes. Older individuals are at a particular risk for dry skin because they may be taking prescriptions that lead to this side effect. Seniors should consider moisturizing with lotion every day after bathing to make sure their skin stays soft and supple. If you live in a colder climate, you may need to reapply moisturizer more often, like after washing your hands. Your body's natural oils are what keeps your skin from getting dry, so the best way to promote this healthy process is through washing your face with water every night. Clean skin will prevent clogged pores, which can contribute to dryness.
Another major cause of dry skin is dehydration. Seniors should speak with their doctors to learn how much water to drink on a daily basis. Always increase your water intake when the weather is hot or you are physically active. This replenishes the water you lose through sweating, as well as promotes lubricated joints and reduces painful movement. Water isn't the only thing you can drink to stay hydrated. Teas are a great option so long as they don't have sweeteners, but avoid high-fructose corn syrup-laden juices and sodas as the sugar content can lead to bad oral health and obesity.
One of the major sources of damage for skin, especially in seniors, is the sun. One easy way for seniors to combat harmful rays is to apply sunscreen every day. You can easily combine moisturizing and applying sunscreen by using a lotion that offers a SPF. This way you won't start out the morning thinking, "Oh, it's cloudy. I don't need sunscreen." and then find by midday you wish you'd put some on. There are many varieties of lotion today that don't have that intense beachy smell – look for ones with aloe for extra moisturizing protection.
Notice how your skin feels after a day or two without a shower. You may find you're more ashy than usual, or perhaps specific sweat-prone areas smell or itch. To keep your skin looking and feeling great, shower every day or two. Cleaning your body removes bacteria that can lead to infections and odors, and can serve as a confidence booster. Plus, people with arthritis can benefit from the heat of a bath to ease aches and pains. Be sure that you're bathing in a bathroom that offers safety handles as necessary. Assisted living communities feature handles near the toilet, sink, bath and in the shower to ensure that seniors are safe and comfortable while bathing.