Understanding How to Care for Aging Skin

If you’re wondering how to care for aging skin for yourself or a loved one, these tips can help.

It’s not an aspect of elderly personal care that is as commonly talked about as other tasks, but is critical to keeping older adults healthy nevertheless. Understanding how to care for aging skin can prevent a variety of difficulties for seniors, including discomfort, dryness, bruising, itching, and more. 

The home care specialists at Harmony Home Health & Hospice, a trusted provider of Salt Lake City area home care services, go to great lengths to keep older adults safe and healthy from head to toe, and that includes teaching seniors and family caregivers how to care for aging skin. We have shared below some of the more common skin difficulties in aging, and some recommendations to help.

Dryness

According to Medscape, an overwhelming majority of people over age 65 are bothered by itchy, flaky, dry skin, which is the result of a decrease in sweat and oil glands.

How to help: 

  • The older adult should take fewer showers or baths, using warm (not hot) water, carefully drying the skin, and applying moisturizer
  • See if “dry bath” products work well for the older adult; these clean the skin and hair without using water
  • Try utilizing milder soaps and shampoos, like those with Nizoral, for older adults who have special skin conditions, and always apply sunscreen before going outdoors
  • Make sure the older adult drinks plenty of liquids and uses a humidifier to hydrate the skin
  • Avoid:
    • Perfumes
    • Smoking
    • Stress
    • Overexposure to the sun

Bruising

Bruising is common in seniors, resulting from thinner skin and a reduction of fat and connective tissue that can lead to a weakening of the support surrounding blood vessels. 

How to help:

  • To reduce the inflammation and size of a bruise, place a cold compress over the bruise for about 20 minutes
  • Try to elevate bruised areas as much as possible
  • Encourage the older adult to get plenty of vitamin C, which boosts collagen
  • Help the senior quit smoking, as smoking decreases collagen production

Harmony Home Health & Hospice’s caregiving team is highly trained in skilled nursing care and can help with aging skin care needs, including checking for changes in the skin, avoiding bed sores, diabetic foot care, and more. Call us any time at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE for more information on our Salt Lake City home care services. Visit our service area page for a full list of the communities in which we provide care.