The Importance of Skin Care for Seniors


Elderly Care in Guelph: The Importance of Skin Care for Seniors

It’s important for elderly people to take care of their skin because they are at a higher health risk of problems. Not only are they prone to minor skin conditions like dryness, but they are more likely to see skin infections, ulcers and wounds than younger people.


As the family caregiver, it’s quite critical that you take the time to outline an effective skin care regimen as part of their elderly care routine. If you are using home care aides to help your aging loved one with grooming and hygiene, you need to incorporate it there as well.


Skin Problems in the Elderly

The elderly care about how they look and feel, just like the rest of the population, so good skin care is important for self-esteem. Dry skin is particularly common in seniors because the skin loses a lot of the suppleness and elasticity it once did. Their skin also takes longer to heal from bruising, scratches and wounds.


In the elderly, skin becomes thinner and more fragile. That’s why it can tear more easily with vigorous scratching, itching and picking. When the skin is really dry, seniors are more likely to experience cracks and small wounds, especially in the hands and feet. Bacteria can enter through wounds and cracked skin, causing an infection that can seriously affect a senior’s health and wellness. Dermatitis, parasitic infestations, cancerous growths and even viral skin conditions like herpes zoster can also affect your elderly loved one.


Caring for Elderly Skin

The best thing to do to ensure that your aging loved one’s skin is as healthy as can be is to make sure to avoid triggers for problems. This means drinking plenty of liquids, avoiding exposure to the sun, avoiding cigarette smoke, using a light moisturizer that is free of harsh chemicals and cleaning the skin with a mild soap.


Other triggers for skin problems in seniors include hot water like baths and showers, stress, living in dry air and certain medications. Family members and home care aides can help the elderly be mindful of all these triggers and remind them to take care of their skin.


When to Visit a Dermatologist

There are certain skin conditions in the elderly that need attention from a professional. If you or your loved one’s home care aides notice prolonged bruising, wounds that aren’t healing or scratch marks from itching that are breaking the skin, a doctor’s visit is in order. Other skin conditions to look for include cancerous skin growths, scaly skin, ulcerations and rashes. Home care aides should report to you anything they observe as they help your aging loved one with hygiene and grooming. Skin problems in seniors can go from mild to serious fairly quickly so it’s always a good idea to get something unusual checked out.


There are lots of good skin care habits that can fall by the wayside as seniors get older and aren’t able to care for themselves as well as they used to. By implementing ways to take care of their skin and keep it healthy, you be helping them look and feel their best.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Guelph, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.



About Susan Di Michele

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