Senior Scene July 25,2016

Summertime – a time when everyone wants to catch a few rays and achieve that healthy golden glow of youth. Well, as we all now know, we need to protect our skin from the harmful, damaging rays of the sun.  Protection is particularly important for aging skin so wear a sunscreen, proper clothing, and limit your exposure to the sun.  This will help stave the onslaught of wrinkles and other physical signs of aging.

Aging is an inevitable part of life, and as we age our skin loses its ability to produce and maintain collagen, causing it to become less elastic and therefore wrinkle. Skin cells cannot reproduce as quickly as they did in younger years causing a build-up of ineffective skin cells on the skin’s surface.  Age also causes the skin to become thinner and drier, compromising its ability to protect us from harmful, external elements such as bacteria and viruses.  With these concerns in mind, seniors need to take different, specialized measures when caring for their aging skin.

  • Avoid scratching your skin. A senior’s skin is thinner and very delicate, therefore scratching or excessive rubbing can cause it to tear and bleed.
  • Clean yourself regularly. This refers to bathing or showering and the immediate cleansing associated with soiled adult incontinence briefs for those who wear them.
  • Moisturizing daily as dry skin is one of the primary skin concerns among seniors.
  • Use gentle soaps and detergents as harsh cleansers will dry and irritate the skin. Utilize cleansing products that are alcohol-free and scent free.

While everyone needs to learn to care for aging skin eventually, there are some ways to keep your skin looking healthy and young for as long as possible.

  • Drink plenty of water and keep your skin hydrated. Over time, dehydration and dry skin can lead to premature wrinkles.
  • Eat healthy and ensure your body gets the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to adequately replenish your skin. If it is necessary to augment your diet in order to obtain the required nutrients, consider a daily multivitamin regime.
  • Exercise regularly to keep your oil and sweat glands active and healthy.
  • Limit your alcohol intake because alcohol dehydrates the body and dries out the skin.
  • Cease smoking as it constricts the blood vessels in our skin. Narrower blood vessels mean that less blood and essential nutrients are getting to the skin, causing the skin’s collagen to wither, leading to prematurely aged skin.
  • Practice an appropriate skin care routine. Regularly washing and moisturizing your face with suitable products for your skin type is an excellent way to keep your skin healthy. If necessary, consult your doctor or a dermatologist for product information if you have “hard to care for” skin.
  • Visually monitor your skin for lesions, unusual blemishes, growths, and changes in the size, shape or colour of moles or freckles. Consult with your doctor and/or a dermatologist if you notice anything unusual as it may be an indication of a type of skin cancer.

Following these helpful tips will not only improve your skin, but it will also improve your self-esteem and overall health! A final thought: “Age should not have its face lifted, but it should rather teach the world to admire wrinkles as the etchings of experience and the firm line of character.” Clarence Day