It’s pretty common knowledge that a person’s skin is their largest organ. As a person ages, specific factors affect the health of a loved one’s skin, and specific products are available to keep it as healthy as possible.
The main factors that affect a person’s skin condition over their lifetime include: diet, hydration, smoking, hereditary, lifestyle and more than the rest, sun exposure. When skin ages, a loss of fatty tissues between the skin and muscle occurs, and stress and gravity cause sagging. Skin also becomes rough and dry, and can look transparent or thin. It also bruises more easily and the elasticity decreases. Two main concerns for the elderly population are bed sores and age spots.
A caregiver is the front line for keeping a watchful eye on the condition of a loved one’s skin. They should report any visible changes to the person’s physician. Moles which have changed color, shape or size should be looked at, as should dry, itchy skin which isn’t relieved with moisturizers. New skin growths and recurring irritations are other issues to monitor.
An ounce of prevention
Once a person’s skin has reached the point of needing intervention, it can take time to reverse the damage. This is why the main line of defense for any caregiver is prevention.
Lips and skin should be moisturized regularly and protected from prolonged sun exposure. Encourage a loved one to wear hats and sunscreen, even long-sleeved clothing if possible. A lip balm with sunscreen will prevent drying and cracking.