National Healthy Skin Month takes place all of November. It’s a good time to address your mom’s ability to care for her skin. If she’s unable to take care of her skin properly, home care can be there to help. Here are a few things to know about caring for senior skin:
Skin Facts to Keep in Mind
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It’s a way for the body to hold in moisture and keep germs out. But, it’s also at risk due to the natural process of aging. There are a few things to keep in mind.
The skin is made up of layers. The epidermis is the outer layer, and it’s made up of dead skin cells at the top and new skin cells underneath them. This travel from new skin cells to dead skin cells happens over approximately one month.
Below that is the dermis. That’s where you find the sweat glands, blood vessels, and hair follicles. It’s also where the skin’s collagen and elastic fibers reside. Finally, the lowest level is the subcutaneous layer, which contains fat cells, nerves, and blood vessels.
As you age, fat stores diminish and collagen production slows. This leads to drier, crepey-looking skin. It also makes skin more likely to bruise, crack, and wrinkle. Older skin needs special care to keep out infection and retain moisture.
Proper Care of Aging Skin
When it comes to caring for your mom’s skin, she needs to avoid hot showers. They’re drying. Instead, a warm shower is ideal. When she washes, a gentle soap free of alcohol, fragrances, and chemicals is best. It’s okay to rinse off and not use soap every day, too.
Once washed, your mom should apply a fragrance-free moisturizing cream. Ideally, creams or lotions containing shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or other non-chemical ingredients are best. If she does this while her skin is damp, it helps trap moisture. She should air dry or pat her skin dry at this point to keep the moisturizer on her skin.
After applying moisturizer, she needs to check her skin for sores, cuts, scratches, and cracks. If there are any issues, she should apply an antibiotic cream or ointment and cover them with a bandage. This is especially important if she’s diabetic.
If she has sores she cannot remember getting, it’s important to talk to her doctor. She may have shoes that don’t fit correctly that rubbed and caused a blister. But, you also want to have it checked for signs of infection and to make sure she’s not experiencing side effects to medications or a fungal or bacterial disease.
It’s essential that your mom takes care of her skin each day. If she struggles with bathing and hygiene, it’s time to hire home care providers to help out. Cracked, splitting skin can let in infection, which is a health risk she should ignore. Hire personal care at home services to keep her safe.