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- 1 Cause of skin problems in elderly people
- 2 Some of the Skin Problems Elderly People Experience
- 3 Skin Conditions in Seniors May Indicate Serious Health Issues
- 4 How to prevent skin problems elderly people experience
- 5 Conclusion
Best Care for Skin Problems Elderly People Experience
Our skin changes as we get older, making it more susceptible to disease. More aged skin is less oily, less elastic, and thinner, so elderly skin becomes more susceptible to infections. That is why it wounds quickly and takes a long time to recover. This article will look at some of the major skin problems elderly people face and ways to prevent them.
Skin concerns are widespread in the elderly. Some skin problems are a regular part of the aging process, while others may suggest more severe underlying health issues. To ensure that their aged loved ones receive timely medical attention, family members should keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of the following skin problems elderly people often encounter.
Adults over the age of 65 are more likely to develop skin infections. What is the reason for this? The body becomes more vulnerable to infection as it ages. Immune dysfunctions caused by comorbidities, skin thinning, and other causes that weaken the body’s defenses are examples of age-related risk factors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common skin problems elderly people face, as well as their symptoms and how to spot them.
Cause of skin problems in elderly people
Our elderly skin undergoes a variety of changes as they age. Several factors affect how skin ages, including lifestyle, diet, heredity, and other personal habits. The most common cause of skin harm is exposure to the sun. UV light from the sun breaks down elastic tissue (elastin) in the skin, causing it to stretch, sag, wrinkle, and become blotchy, often with pre-cancerous growths and even skin cancer.
The loss of fatty tissue between your skin and muscle, tension, gravity, regular facial activity, and obesity are all factors that contribute to skin aging. The following are some of the skin changes that come with age:
- Skin becomes rough and dry
- Seborrheic keratoses and cherry angiomas are examples of benign growths
- Loose skin on the face, especially around the eyes, cheeks, and jawline.
- The body becomes transparent or thinned
- Less elasticity causes easy bruising.
Some of the Skin Problems Elderly People Experience
1. Dry Skin
One of the common skin problems elderly people experience is dry skin. Dry skin affects many older people, particularly on their lower legs, elbows, and lower arms. Patches of dry skin feel rough and scaly. Dry skin can cause a variety of factors, including:
- Not getting enough fluids
- Sunbathing or spending too much time in the sun
- Being exposed to arid air
- Tobacco use
- stressed out
- The loss of sweat and oil glands, which is normal when people get older.
Here are some suggestions for soothing rough, itchy skin:
- Use moisturizers daily, such as lotions, creams, or ointments.
- Use milder soap and take fewer baths or showers. Warm water dries out the skin less than hot water. Adding bath oil to your water is not a good idea. It will cause the tub to become too slick.
- Use a humidifier, which is a device that adds moisture to space.
Older people are more likely to bruise than those who are younger. These bruises will take a long time to heal. Certain medications or illnesses can also cause bruising. If you have bruises on your body areas that aren’t generally hidden by clothes and don’t know how you got them, see your doctor.
- Use a cold compress to ease the bruising. It reduces blood flow to the region, as well as the size and inflammation of the bruise.
- Seniors who take prescription blood thinners or have clotting abnormalities should seek a physician or other healthcare professional’s advice if severe bruising occurs. It may be a sign of an allergic reaction or that their prescriptions need to be changed.
- If a bruise covers a significant portion of the leg or foot, keep the limb elevated as much as possible.
- Be on the lookout for any other signs of possible elder violence.
Skin starts to wrinkle over time. The skin can become less elastic due to the environment’s influences, such as ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Skin will sag and wrinkle as a result of gravity. Certain habits, such as smoking, may also cause wrinkles.
Many claims on how to get rid of wrinkles are ineffective. Some techniques are painful or even harmful, and many require the assistance of a physician. If you’re concerned about wrinkles, speak with a dermatologist (a doctor specializing in skin problems) or your usual doctor.
4. Age Spots/Skin Tags
Age spots, also known as “liver spots,” are flat, brown spots caused by years of exposure to the sun. They are larger than freckles and can found on the face, neck, arms, back, and feet. More age spots can avoid by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against two forms of sun rays (UVA and UVB).
Skin tags are minute, flesh-colored growths on the surface of the skin. They become more common as people get older, especially among women. The eyelids, throat, and body fold like the armpit, stomach, and groin are the most common places to find them.
Age spots and skin tags are not harmful, but they can irritate the skin. If you’re bothered by age spots or skin tags, see your doctor about getting them removed. They don’t need to treat, but your elderly doctor may want to take a sample to make sure it’s not cancer. They can bleach them to lighten them or remove them if you prefer. Using sunscreen and stay out of the sun to avoid them.
5. Skin cancer
Another common skin problem elderly people experience is skin cancer. In the United States, skin cancer is a prevalent form of cancer. The sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. Sunlamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of skin color. People with fair skin who freckle easily are the most vulnerable. If skin cancer discovers before it spreads to other body areas, it can quickly cure.
Daily self-examinations and dermatologist-assisted skin tests are critical for detecting skin cancer early on. Here are some red flags to watch out
- Changes in a mole’s appearance, such as its size, shape, and color
- Moles with wavy or irregularly shaped edges or borders
- A mole may have several colors.
- A mole with an asymmetrical form
- Itchy, oozing, or bleeding moles
- Ulcerations are a type of wound (holes that form in the skin when the top layer of cells breaks down and the underlying tissue shows through)
Shingle is a disease that affects the skin and nervous system, resulting in a painful blistering rash that lasts three to five weeks. It may cause by the same virus that causes chickenpox. Extreme sensitivity or discomfort on one side of the body is also the first symptom of shingles. Burning, tingling, discomfort, numbness, and fluid-filled blisters are some of the symptoms.
Call your loved one’s doctor for care if you think they have shingles. Antiviral medications and pain relievers are commonly used to aid recovery and alleviate discomfort. Older people are more likely to experience complications such as skin infections and post-herpetic neuralgia, which is nerve pain that continues after the rash has healed. A senior’s risk of developing shingles may reduce by vaccination
7. Pressure Sores
Another common skin problem elderly people experience is pressure sores. A pressure ulcer, also known as bedsore, is an open wound on the skin that arises when a person is in the same place for a prolonged period. When an individual only confines to a bed or a chair, these wounds commonly grow. Pressure ulcers usually develop on the tailbone, heels of the feet, knees, back, and elbows.
Treating Pressure Ulcers
- Avoid staying in the same place for long periods.
- If a senior can’t reposition themselves, assist them in doing so at least once every few hours.
- Specialized durable medical devices, such as gel or foam mattress toppers and alternating air pressure mattresses, can help prevent pressure sores from forming.
- Keep high-risk body parts clean and dry.
- Clean early-stage wounds with a mild soap and water solution, then add a barrier cream.
- Localized skin redness and warmth could suggest the onset of bedsores. Report the early symptoms of a pressure ulcer to your loved one’s doctor and build a treatment plan.
8. Seborrhoeic keratosis
Seborrhoeic keratoses are benign (non-cancerous) lesions that grow as people get older. They’re generally painless, but they can itch. The face and upper trunk are the most common locations for seborrhoeic keratoses. The most common symptom is a warty plaque that appears to be fixed on the skin’s surface and ranges in color from dirty yellow to black.
In most cases, no treatment requires. Removal can be possible with a small sharp curette, cautery, or freezing if necessary.
9. Cherry Angioma
These tiny red bumps or growths can appear anywhere on your elderly body but mostly found on or near y chest, belly, and back. They don’t hurt, but if they get hit or scraped, they can bleed. They’re generally acceptable if left alone, but if you don’t like the way they look, consult your elderly doctor, and they can extract them with a laser.
10- Solar Elastosis
Long-term sun exposure will cause your elderly skin to become yellow, with bumps and deep ridges. It affects people of all skin colors, but it is more pronounced on light-skinned individuals. The sun damages your loved one skin; however, cigarette smoke damages the deeper layers. Stop them from smoking if they have this disorder. Keep them out of the heat if you can, or do whatever you can to avoid it.
Skin Conditions in Seniors May Indicate Serious Health Issues
The medical conditions mentioned below can cause changes in an older adult’s skin. Make an appointment with their doctor if irritation or other symptoms continue.
- Circulatory complications caused by arteriosclerosis and other blood vessel disorders
- Diabetic complications
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver problems
- Obesity is an issue.
- Medication-related side effects
How to prevent skin problems elderly people experience
Below are several care tips you should keep in mind as a caregiver to honor your loved one skin healthily and safe.
Encourage your elderly to use moisturizing creams and exfoliate their skin to keep it solid and hydrated. Bathing or showering in warm, not hot water will also protect the skin from drying out. Using an at-home humidifier may also help to avoid dry skin by limiting exposure to dry air. All, including the elderly, need to keep their skin clean to stay healthy. According to research, skin that is gently clean daily is less likely to break down and develop problems.
2) Limit sun exposure
It’s ok to go out during the day, in fact, sunshine is good for your health. But try to avoid being in the sun while the sun’s rays are at their highest. For example, in the summer, aim to prevent the heat between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The sun’s rays are capable of passing through clouds. If your elderly is in the sea, they can even get sunburned, so be careful when they are in a pool, lake, or the ocean.
3) Use sunscreen
Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (sun protection factor). Choose sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” on the bottle. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. Sunscreen should reapply every 2 hours at the very least. Whether they are bathing, sweating, or rubbing their skin with a towel, they should apply sunscreen more often.
4) Protective clothing
A wide-brimmed hat will protect your neck, ears, eyes, and head. Look for sunglasses that block the sun’s rays entirely. Encourage them to Dress loose, lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants or long skirts if they must be outside in the heat.
5) Avoid tanning beds
Don’t use tanning beds. Vitamin D is essential and some people resort to tanning beds to promote this vital nutrient. The problem is, it’s easy to overdo it. And experts are not convinced of the safety.
Fresh air and sunshine are the best ways to get that needed sun. A reasonable replacement is a sunlamp placed nearby but not close enough to burn.
6) Healthy diet
A healthy diet is always very crucial in maintaining health. Whichever age you are in, a proper diet is always necessary to keep yourself safe and healthy. A well-balanced diet rich in leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables can provide the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain a robust immune system. Seniors, in particular, should consume a well-balanced diet to ensure that any nutrients lost due to aging can replace.
Exercise is crucial at any age of our life. It helps to maintain good circulation in the body, which transports nutrients to the organs. Exercising three to five days a week will get you elderly going, whether it’s a short stroll around the block or a simple stretch routine. Exercise will help a lot in improving your elderly skin
8) Manage stress
Stress will make your elderly one’s skin more susceptible, causing acne breakouts and other skin issues. Please take action to control their tension to promote healthy skin and a healthy state of mind. Please encourage them to get enough sleep, set realistic limits, pare down their to-do list, and schedule time for their favorite activities. The outcomes can be more drastic than you anticipate.
9) Frequent Washing
Although bathing is a necessary part of senior care to maintain proper hygiene, showering too often or using harsh soaps can cause the skin’s natural protective oils to degrade. Seniors can only bathe and pour in warm water, as steam and hot water will dry out the skin, causing itching and redness. However, it’s essential to bear in mind that some bath oils will make bath surfaces slicker, raising the tub’s risk of injury.
Hydration is essential for preserving healthy skin and a senior’s overall well-being, and it is possibly the most important thing on this list. Since water makes up 64 percent of skin, even a slight lack of hydration can severely affect skin health. Dehydration is a common cause of dry skin, so it’s crucial to keep the skin hydrated during the day. Water also helps remove toxins from the body, supporting an older adult’s complexion and resulting in more youthful, healthy-looking skin.
11) Consult Doctor
When you get older, talking to your doctor will help you understand more about your body’s unique needs and also convince you that you’re on the right track to caring for your skin as it goes through this natural phase.
Skin problems in older adults are general issues. Several more senior adults are coping with skin problems as they age. Simultaneously, several factors will cause these issues worse, like diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, those dealing with skin problems are hoping for help.
Since their skin is thin and dry, bacteria may penetrate, the elderly need exceptional skincare. Hot baths and regular baths/showers should avoid avoiding the skin being too dry and using a gentle cleanser instead of soap. Moisturizers should apply after a bath if the skin is dry.