Whether you take care of an aging relative at home or while visiting you notice changes in your loved one’s skin, it’s important to note these developments. Everyone’s skin will evolve as time goes by, creating some common conditions and aging problems you may not be aware of. Crescent Lake House is a resident care facility nestled in a 12-acre lush landscape. We provide a warm, loving home to our residents, catering to their individual needs. We’ve seen multiple skin conditions and offer some tips to help you spot the differences and know when to take action.
One of the most common and typical conditions everyone sees as they age is wrinkles. Skin’s natural elasticity and flexibility starts waning as time goes by, creating loose skin. Collagen, which helps to improve skin’s texture and bounce, will start decreasing production as early as your 30s, leading to sagging and loosening skin when you reach retirement. A lot of sun exposure and smoking can also increase your likelihood of developing wrinkles earlier, and some are even dubbed “smoker’s lines” from the repetitive motion of inhaling cigarettes.
Common Skin Issues
Dry skin is especially common in elderly skin, as less oil is produced in the body as it ages. Mildly dry skin isn’t usually an issue for most, but if it becomes itchy or severely dry, it can cause future problems. Scratching dry skin will lead it to break easily, and most elderly skin takes longer to heal. This can create issues such as infections from the scabby areas or poor immune health with multiple scratches and scabs on the body. Keep an eye on your loved one’s skin and apply moisturizer as often as you can to keep their skin smooth and hydrated.
Skin cancer can be especially troublesome as time goes by. It’s mostly caused by sun exposure, so if your loved ones enjoyed a lot of beach days, it’s important to keep an eye on their skin for any changes. Sun spots are usually by-products of sun exposure. These spots are dark brown and can occur on the face, arms, and hands. They should be checked frequently for any changes that could indicate skin cancer. The National Institute for Aging recommends checking over your loved one’s skin monthly for skin cancer, and to follow the ABCDE’s rules. These rules involve checking any moles, birthmarks, sun spots, and other parts of the skin for: Asymmetry, or one side of the growth or area is bigger than the other side. Borders that are irregular around the area. Color changes of the growth or area, or if there is more than one color. The Diameter of the area is greater than the size of a pencil eraser. And if the growth or area is evolving in some way, which includes the size, shape, symptoms, surface of the area or shades of color. If you do notice any of these changes, it’s important to have your loved one seen by a doctor so they can take the next steps in determining if it’s skin cancer or not.
Skin Care Tips
To maintain proper skin health for years to come, it’s very important to moisturize. Choosing soaps that contain a moisturizer or are formulated for dry skin can help keep them less dry, as well as applying moisturizers as often as you can when you visit. Bathing can strip the body of moisture and oils, so bathing every other day instead of daily can help increase softness in the skin. Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help your loved ones stay hydrated both for their body and skin’s benefit. If they do venture outside often, make sure they’re using sunscreen and wearing sunglasses and a hat, and wear loose clothing that can cover as much skin as possible. This will help protect the skin from drying out and from the harmful rays of the sun, giving it added hydration no matter what.
Do you find yourself with less and less time to spend with your elderly loved ones? Do you feel like a resident care facility may be the best choice for them? Here at Crescent Lake House, we know every resident has individual needs and desires. We work with you and your loved ones to figure out the best living situation possible for them, giving you peace of mind and a true home for them for years to come. Call us today!